Go and Defend Yourself, Court Tells Belgore, Others

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has dismissed the no-case application filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Mohammed Dele Belgore and former Minster of National Planning, Professor Sulaimon Abubaka.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa thursday held that in view of the overwhelming evidence adduced by the prosecution, it would be better to apply a probative value to the evidence of the prosecution witness to be determined on its merit.
“I have read all the erudite submissions of the respective counsel in support and in opposition to the no-case application. I have form an opinion that the first and second defendants have case to answer.

Consequently, the no-case application is hereby dismissed and defendants should proceed to open their defence.
However counsel to Belgore, Mr. Seni Adio (SAN), informed the court that his client has an application asking the court to compel the prosecution to front load the second additional statement made by Belgore on March 28, 2017 that wasn’t in the proof of evidence served on the defendants.

But counsel to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Oyedepo, said the application filed since January 16 and which was just served on them in court yesterday was intended to delay the trial.

“The application is a gross abuse of court process because the prayers contained there have been dealt with in the ruling on no-case application of the first defendant. Therefore, my Lord should strike it out. “

Justice Aikawa was however, of the view that a proper counter affidavit should be filed in opposition to the application to controvert the issue of facts raised.

The judge later adjourned to April 30, 2018 for the hearing of first defendant’s application.