FRN Vs Ali Bello: Co-defendant, Daudu tackles EFCC over competence of amended charge

The trial of Ali Bello, a cousin of ex-Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, could not continue on Thursday after the co-defendant, Suleiman Daudu, challenged the competence of the charge brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Daudu, through his counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Nureni Jimoh, raised objections against the fresh charges filed by the EFCC.

Although the amended charges have not been read to them for their plea to be taken afresh, the co-defendant is praying the court to reject it outrightly.

However, the motion challenging the amended charges could not be entertained by Justice James Omotoso due to some flaws discovered in the motion.

Justice Omotoso subsequently ordered the lawyers to the 2nd defendant to re- file the motion and bring it back to the court on February 23.

The judge said that he would unfailingly determine the motion first before proceeding with the trial of the defendants in the alleged offences filed against them by the anti-graft agency.

The matter has been shifted to February 23 for the motion and objections of the EFCC to be heard.

When the matter was called, Nureni Jimoh, SAN, told the court that he had filed an application challenging EFCC’s amended charge.

The prosecutor, Oyedepo Rotimi, SAN, however, said that he had yet to receive the application.

The 2nd defendant’s counsel also objected to the presence of the prosecution’s 4th witness, Yakubu Haruna, in the court, on the ground that his name was not listed on the witness list given to his team.

The prosecutor said that he had filed the amended charge against the defendants and that all the names of the witnesses he intended to call were listed.

Ali Bello and Dauda Suleiman, are standing trial on a 10-count criminal charge, bordering on money laundering brought against them by the EFCC.

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