The absence of Justice Mojisola Olatoregun stalled the hearing on the report of the plea bargain between a former acting Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court on Monday.
Mr. Jauro, alongside Dauda Bawa and Thlumbau Enterprises Limited, are being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N304.1m committed between January 2014 and September 2015. The EFCC accused the defendants of converting the sum for personal use.
Babajide Koku (SAN), Mr. Jauro’s lawyer, informed Justice Olatoregun on 24 October 2016, that his client had decided to explore the option of a plea bargain. This was confirmed by Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo of the EFCC.
Justice Olatoregun subsequently ordered the parties to proceed on the plea bargain and adjourned the case to 21 November 2016 for the report on the plea talk.
The court registrar adjourned the case to 13 December 2016 due to the absence of the judge.
According to the 19-count charge against the defendants, Mr. Jauro and the co-defendants violated Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and were liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Mr. Jauro became the acting Director-General of NIMASA following the sacking of the former DG of the agency, Patrick Apkobolokemi, who is currently being tried for an alleged multi-billion naira fraud committed during his time with the agency.