N2.8bn Fraud: Court adjourn Ex NAMA MD Trial Till May 30

N2.8bn Fraud:  Court adjourn Ex NAMA MD Trial Till May 30

Kathy Kyari 

The alleged N2.8 billion fraud trial involving Ibrahim Abdulsalam, a former managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority, NAMA, and others was postponed by Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, until May 30 and 31, 2023.

Abdulsalam is facing trial alongside Nnamdi Udoh (still at large), Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Segun Agbolade, Clara Aliche, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, Randville Invesment Limited and Multeng Travels and Tours Limited for conspiring to induce the Agency to deliver the sum of N2.8billion to Delosa Limited, Air Sea Delivery Limited and Sea Schedule Systems Limited on the pretext that the money represented the cost of clearing NAMA's consignments. 

The current Managing Director of NAMA, Matthew Pwajok, had a bench warrant issued against him by the judge sometime in November 2022 for failing to make certain documents in Abdulsalam's ongoing trial available.

The court had issued a subpoena for the materials.

Pwajok's attorney Mahmood Adeshina, SAN, informed the court at today's resumed session that he had submitted two motions: one asking the court to vacate the order calling for Pwajok's arrest and the other requesting a stay of the proceedings.

“Your lordship made an order on November 1, 2022, and we applied that the order be vacated. Our motion is dated November 7, 2022 and filed the same day. We pray the court to grant our prayers as contained herein.”

Justice Kuewunmi approved the request in a brief decision and revoked the order mandating Pwajok's detention by the Commissioner of Police.

Adesina argued that "Subject to the ruling of the court on our first prayer, we shall be withdrawing our second prayer dated November 11, 2022" in light of this.

Additionally, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, the third and eighth defendants' legal counsel, informed the court that the documents it had asked had been served on the defendants. He then invited the MD of NAMA or his agents to deliver the documents.

“I was informed that the MD of NAMA has caused to be brought to this court the subject matter of the Subpoena. It is an important document for the court. They must be placed before the court after which the third and eight defendants will make the necessary application to go through the documents.

“I am also aware that the representative of the MD of NAMA, Leo Eguabor, who is the General Manager, Legal Services, is in court to supply the court with the documents for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. I apply that the third and eight defendants, in conjunction with their counsel, be granted access by the Honourable Court to go through the documents and if need be make copies thereof as they may deem necessary for the purpose of the continuation of the cross-examination of the 4th prosecution witness, PW4”, Ojo prayed.

Justice Kuewunmi approved the defense's requests and continued the case for "definite further hearing" until May 30 and 31, 2023.

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