A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has again threatened to strike out charges bordering on cyberstalking preferred against the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Suraju Olanrewaju, by a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, and the Nigerian government.
The presiding judge, Justice Binta Nyako, handed down the warning on Monday at the resumed hearing of the case, following an application for adjournment by the prosecution counsel, Mrs Cole, who is from the Office of the Attorney General of Federation, Ministry of Justice.
Cole told the court that the adjournment was at the instance of Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who had requested that the case file be returned to him for further review.
She therefore prayed the court for short adjournment to enable the DPP examine the case file.
While objecting to the application, the defence counsel, Dr Muiz Banire, SAN said he was not comfortable with the request for adjournment by the prosecution citing the difficulties he and the defendant encountered travelling down from Lagos to Abuja for the case.
Banire therefore urged the court to strike out the case if the prosecution was not ready.
The trial judge while responding warned the prosecution and vowed not to entertain any further adjournment, saying that she would strike out the charge against the defendant if they were not ready.
She therefore adjourned the case to February 18, 2022 for hearing.
It would be recalled that the prosecution had at the last adjournment failed to serve the defendant and court proof of evidence but insisted that the defendant must take his plea.
The request was turned down by the judge who ordered the prosecution to serve the defendant proof of evidence.
Adoke, one of those accused and charged with fraud in the OPL245 scam, also referred to as Malabu scandal, had petitioned the police and accused those behind the petitions resulting in his prosecution for corruption and money laundering of circulating fabricated evidence against him to unduly incriminate him in the multi-million dollar scandal.
The Inspector General of Police Monitoring Unit had in April 2021 detained at Force headquarters Suraju for alleged sharing of media report on the $1billion Malabu oil deal.
He was interrogated for several hours for sharing a report published by online newspapers Premium Times and SaharaReporters that indicted the Attorney General on his social media platforms.
Adoke is using the police to intimidate and harass the Human and Environmental Development Agenda who originally petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) and Italian prosecutors of forgery behind the email which was produced by JP Morgan in United Kingdom (UK) court.
JP Morgan Chase Bank had also released fresh documents which indicted Adoke and was admitted as evidence which includes the electronic mail sent by him on June 21, 2011.
The bank released the documents to a United Kingdom court, the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts of England and Wales, after investigation was done by the Special Fraud Office, London, under Director Lisa Osofosky.
The documents confirmed that contrary to Adoke’s claim of forgery against the NGOs and Italian prosecutors, the documents emanated from JP Morgan and UK court.
It would be recalled that JP Morgan Chase Bank was accused by the Nigerian government to have sent $801 million to the bank account of Malabu in Nigeria without appropriate authorisation from Nigeria.
Adoke and six others are standing trial over alleged fraud in the oil deal.