The trial of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo governorship election, has been stalled due to the absence of Umar Garba, the trial judge.
Although Ize-Iyamu was also absent from court, Peter Uwadiae, his counsel was present.
Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo state who is the second defendant in the case, was also seen in court.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Pascal Ugbome, counsel to the third defendant, explained that it is not uncommon for a judge to be absent.
“It is nothing unusual and nothing unnatural for the court to adjourn the matter. The court has said that their hands are full, and so they have to reschedule the matter according to their convenience,” he said.
Ize-Iyamu is standing trial alongside Imasuen, Dan Orbih, the state PDP chairman; Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
The defendants were first arraigned on an eight-count charge bordering on money laundering in May 2018.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the defendants, sometime in March 2015, directly took possession of public funds to the tune of N700 million without any contract award.
The commission alleged that the accused persons contravened the provisions of the EFCC Act and Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.
The court had on June 18, 2020, validated the corruption charges against the defendants and adjourned the case to July, 2, 2020, for further hearing.
The matter has now been adjourned to July 7 for hearing.
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