The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday ordered a stay of proceeding in the ongoing trial of the former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, and nine others.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’s attempt to obtain an exparte order for the freezing of bank accounts of the 4th, 5th and 6th defendants in the matter before another court, was disapproved by Justice Taiwo Taiwo in his ruling.
Describing the EFCC’s conduct as “an abuse of court process” and “judge shopping”, Justice Taiwo said it was a contemptuous move to get a favourable court judgment.
Justice Taiwo then ordered a stay of proceedings in the trial until the EFCC and its lawyer “do the needful” by withdrawing the application it tendered before the other court.
Oyo-Ita along with nine others had been facing trial on grounds of alleged N570 million money laundering.
While Oyo-Ita is the 1st defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/60/2020 before Taiwo, Garba Umar, and his two companies; Slopes International Ltd and Gooddeal Investment Ltd are 4th, 5th and 6th defendants respectively.
Others in the cast include Frontline Ace Global Services Ltd and Asanaya Projects as 2nd and 3rd, while Ubong Okon Effiok and his two companies; U & U Global Services Ltd and Prince Mega Logistics Ltd are 7th, 8th and 9th defendants respectively.
The defence lawyers had urged the court to discontinue the trial until the EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, withdraws the application before Justice Giwa-Ogunbanjo, describing the act as an abuse of the court process.
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