Absence of defence counsel stalls trial of illegal school coordinator

The absence of defence counsel Odu Emmanuel on Tuesday stalled Saturday Igwe’s trial.

Mr Igwe is the coordinator of the Akwa Ibom Polytechnic campus in Nyanya, Abuja.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) charged the defendant with eight counts bordering on obtaining by false pretence.

At the resumed court sitting, the prosecuting counsel, Michael Adeshola, told the court that he had a witness in court but had received a letter from the defence counsel.

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“The defendant’s counsel sent a letter for an adjournment on the grounds that he has another matter in the Court of Appeal. In this circumstance, we pray for an adjournment,” Mr Adeshola said.

Justice Asmau Akanbi-Yusuf adjourned the matter until July 17 for a hearing.

The prosecution alleged that the defendant, while coordinating Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Osurua Nyanya, Abuja, satellite campus, made false statements to ICPC, Denham Aida, and Tunji Jabar officers in November 2012.

He alleged that the defendant said he was unaware that the campus had been proscribed by the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education, which was untrue.

The prosecution said that the defendant defrauded Helen Joseph of N162,000 by claiming that the campus’ National Diploma and Higher Diploma programmes were valid and approved.

He said the defendant defrauded Obiageli Ude of N250,000, forged the polytechnic’s Higher National Diploma Statement of result, issued it to Joseph, and forged a provisional admission letter to Ms Ude.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty.

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