By Dipo Olowookere
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting on Tuesday in Abuja, has adjourned the hearing of alleged non asset declaration trial against an ex-Custom officer, Mr Rasheed Taiwo Owolobi, to February 27, 2017, for not furnishing the led defence counsel with document of proof.
While ruling on the matter, Chairman of the CCT, Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar, ordered the Prosecution, led by Peter Danladi, to file all the necessary documents with the Court Registry and be copied to the defence Counsel.
He stated ‘‘Prosecution, I expect you to file all the necessary documents to Registry and copy same to the defence counsel for continuation of hearing, matter adjourn to February 27, 2017.”
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the day’s session, the prosecution counsel express his readiness for the matter to go on, but the defence counsel vehemently opposed the move by proffering to the eminence Jurists, chaired by Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar that he is yet to be served with evidence of proof against his client, which he added ‘‘is against fair hearing’’.
He contended that ethics of the profession is that whatever was served on the Tribunal must be served on him.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Peter Danladi, countered by saying that ‘onus is not on him to serve the learned defence counsel with the proof of evidence, that this case has been on since and the learned SAN had not complain until today.
The defence counsel insisted that it is elementary that he be served, he said he do not believe in springing of surprises.
He added; ‘‘if the defence had put his e-mail and phone numbers, should be filed together in the process’’.
However, the Chairman maintained that system of front loading requires that you make sure that defence has the same documents as the prosecution, he therefore instructed that document be copied to defence and asked whether the prosecutor has his witness for the trial to commence.
The defence refuted the move for the prosecution to come up with two witnesses which he said were not indicated, he infrared; if the prosecution is calling for extra witness he ought to file it in Court.
The Defence stated that the Prosecution had only two witnesses in Court.
Subsequently, the Prosecution Counsel stated that it is obvious that the learned defence is not ready for the trial, he prayed the court to grant him short adjournment for him to front load everything in the spirit of fair hearing.
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