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Labour strike stalls Emefiele’s trial on criminal charges


The trial of former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, on criminal charges of economic sabotage, abuse of public office and breach of trust was on Wednesday aborted at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


The opening of the trial was forced to be put off by the ongoing strike action of the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC.


When our correspondent visited the court, all the entrance gates were under lock and key by officials of the NLC monitoring and enforcing the strike action.


All lawyers and litigants were turned back at the main entrance gate by the Labour team.


A Registrar of the court, who craved anonymity, confirmed that Justice Hamza Muazu would not sit today because of the effect of the workers’ strike.


Also, one of the lawyers in Emefiele’s defence team, Maxwell Opara, told newsmen that the former CBN Governor had been told to stay home since the courtroom could not be accessed.


Opara said a new date would be obtained as soon as the NLC calls off the strike action.


“We have just told Emefiele to stay back at home since the court room could not be accessed by us and counsel to the Federal Government.


“This is not our making but the circumstances beyond our immediate control. As it is now, we will have to go back home and come for a fresh date once the striking workers terminate the strike action”, the lawyer said.


The office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice had announced last week that Emefiele would be put on trial on November 15 despite the bail granted him by Justice Olukayode Adegbola Adeniyi of the FCT High Court.


Counsel to the Federal Government and AGF, Oyin Koleoso, billed to conduct the trial, could not be reached as he was said to have been turned back at the Court gate by the striking workers.

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