A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 adjourned indefinitely the trial of the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji. Justice Okechukwu Okeke, in a short ruling, said that he was transferring the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for re-assignment to another judge.
The trial judge had previously refused the request by the EFCC that he transfer the case to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge in view of the imminent retirement of his Lordship from the bench. Justice Okeke is due to exit the bench in May. Counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla had argued that it would be impossible for the judge to conclude the case before he exits the bench.
But rather than withdraw from the trial, Justice Okeke promised accelerated hearing. He consequently chose 13 consecutive days for him to sit on the trial.
At the last court session, Obla wrote to the court indicating his desire to withdraw from the case. In the letter dated April 5, 2013 he noted that the manner the court fixed dates for the trial would deny him the opportunity to diligently prosecute the case.
Ikuforiji and his aide are expected to be re-arraigned when a new judge takes over the case.
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
24th April, 2013