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Alleged N5.2m fraud: COVID-19 stalls trial of Benue deputy speaker, clerk

A Benue State High Court sitting in Makurdi presided over by Justice Samuel Itodo has adjourned alleged fraud case involving the Deputy Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Christopher Adaji and the Clerk of the House, Torese Agena, to October 14, 2020, following reports that Adaji had tested positive to COVID- 19.

 

The duo, according to a statement by the agency’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Dele Oyewale, were being investigated  by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N5.2 million fraud.

 

At the resumed sitting of the matter on Monday, counsel to EFCC, George Chia-Yakua, told the court that two of the prosecution witnesses were in court, adding that he was ready to proceed with the matter.

 

However, Barnabas Iorheghem, holding brief for Sebastine Hon (SAN), counsel to the Deputy Speaker, informed the court that his client was not ready to proceed with the case.

 

“Our lead counsel, S. T. Hon (SAN), called to inform me that the pandemic had affected his client, who is the deputy speaker and second defendant in this case, as he tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of which the Clerk of the House, who is the first defendant, had been quarantined for 14 days”.

 

He added that, it was in the interest of the public that the court was duly informed and an adjournment sought.

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