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Court Postpones Ali Bello’s Trial to March 14, Criticises EFCC for Inadequate Prosecution

Court Postpones Ali Bello's Trial to March 14, Criticises EFCC for Inadequate Prosecution

The Federal High Court in Abuja has decided to postpone the further trial proceedings in the case against Ali Bello and Suleiman Daudu to March 14. The court also issued a stern warning to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding the need for diligence in conducting the trial.

Justice James Omotoso, while granting an accelerated hearing, cautioned the EFCC that if the prosecution failed to demonstrate due diligence, the charges against the defendants could be dismissed. He emphasized the importance of the EFCC ensuring that all witnesses and exhibits are prepared for the adjourned dates to avoid any unnecessary delays.

The judge made it clear that he would not tolerate any lackadaisical attitudes from any party involved in the case. The trial is set to resume on March 14, 15, 20, and 21.

Justice Omotoso also instructed the defendants to reserve any further objections to the trial for the final address stage.

In ruling on a motion filed by Suleiman Daudu challenging the amended charges, the judge refused to quash the 17-count amended charge related to alleged money laundering. Additionally, the court declined the request to transfer the trial to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State, as argued by the second defendant’s counsel, Mr. Jimoh Nureni, SAN. The judge stated that the Federal High Court in Nigeria is a unified entity, and any matter can be prosecuted in any of its divisions.

Ali Bello and Suleiman Daudu are facing trial on 10-count charges relating to alleged money laundering amounting to N10 billion. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges and have been granted bail by Justice Omotoso.

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