Aliyu Akwe Doma
Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, today December 1, 2014 dismissed an application filed by Timothy Anthony Anjide, the second accused person in the ongoing trial of Aliyu Akwe Doma, former governor of Narasawa State.
Doma, Anjide and Dauda Egwe are being prosecuted on a 10 count-charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Anjide had approached the court, asking that the case be re- assigned, alleging bias against her lordship.
At the resumed hearing today, the defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, who stood in for Charles Edosomwan, SAN, brought a notion on notice for an order of the honourable court to transfer the case.
The defence stated that there had been circumstances in the proceedings that suggest a likelihood of bias by the judge. He stated that the judge has failed to subpoena certain functionaries of the state, and that her lordship compelled the second accused (Anjide Timothy) to appear before the court in spite of his critical health condition. He argued that the second accused has lost confidence of getting a fair trial before her lordship.
The prosecuting counsel, Kemi Pinheiro, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the application. He stated that ‘the application does not show that the first and third accused have lost confidence in the court. It is only the second that is complaining’.
Pinheiro further stated that for a case of bias against a judge to be established, there must be concrete evidence in support of the charge. “It is not enough to say there is a suspicion of bias, rather suspicion must be reasonable and looked from objective stand.”
The prosecution further said that the defence does not need a subpoena when it can apply for certified true copies of document.
According to Pinheiro, the cry of the applicant that the subpoena applied for has been consistently turned down by the court is premature and misconceived because the prosecution is yet to close its case neither is it time for the accused persons to open their case.
In dismissing the application, Justice Okeke stated that the application for transfer of the case lacks merit.
The case was adjourned to January 19, 20 and 21 2014 for continuation of trial.
Head, Media & Publicity
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