Prosecutor’s absence stalls verdict in case of Fani-Kayode

Fani-KayodeA Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday adjourned the judgment in a money laundry charge against former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, till July 1.

On the last adjourned date, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia had slated yesterday for the judgment after both the prosecution and the defence have closed their case. At the resumed proceeding of the case yesterday, a lawyer from Festus Keyamo’s chamber, Mr. Festus Afiodion, informed the court of the inability of Keyamo, the prosecutor of the case, to be present at the Thursday’s proceeding which was fixed for judgment.

He told the court that Keyamo was in another court to prosecute another criminal matter. Counsel to the accused, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), did not oppose the appearance of any lawyer from Keyamo’s chamber.

Adedipe rather corroborated Afiodion’s statement by informing the court that Keyamo called to inform him that he would be absent from yesterday’s proceeding due to another case he has to prosecute in another court.

He therefore urged the court to go ahead with the judgement. But the trial judge opposed the submission of both counsel, saying that the court will not go on with the judgment in the absence of Keyamo who possesses the Attorney-General’s fiat in the matter.

The judge therefore stood down the matter for over 20 minutes to enable Afiodion to consult with Keyamo to know when he will be in court for the judgment. When Afiodion returned after consulting with Keyamo, the court adjourned the judgment to July 1.

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