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419:Court Adjourns, as defence councel withdraws

Posted by The Vanguard on 2005/11/07 | Views: 297 |

419:Court Adjourns, as defence councel withdraws


The unwillingness of Mr Kemi Pinneiro, counsel to Chief Augunous Okoro arraigned with the late House of Representatives member, Chief Maurice Ibekwe for alleged Advance Fee Fraud offences to continue with the case yesterday stalled the continuation of the evidence of the lead prosecution witness before Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court.

The unwillingness of Mr Kemi Pinneiro, counsel to Chief Augunous Okoro arraigned with the late House of Representatives member, Chief Maurice Ibekwe for alleged Advance Fee Fraud offences to continue with the case yesterday stalled the continuation of the evidence of the lead prosecution witness before Justice Joseph Oyewole of the Ikeja High Court.

At the resumed trial of the case yesterday, Pinneiro who for the second time was announcing his withdrawal from the case however did not adduce any reason for his sudden withdrawal in the matter. Only last Tuesday when the matter started de-novo (afresh) after nineteen months, Mr Pinneiro appeared for Okoro who is now alone standing trial for allegedly swindling a German businessman, Mr Klaus Richard Munch of over 300,000 Dollars and 75,000 Deutschmark years back. He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Mr Pinneiro had withdrawn his service for the accused person when late Chief Ibekwe was alive and the matter was before Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, now in Court of Appeal, on the ground that the court refused one of his application seeking a prayer for the fundamental rights of the accused person.
Responding to his application, the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs kicked against Pinneiro’s withdrawal attributing it to “another ploy to delay the trial”.

Jacobs who insisted that the court should not grant the Pinneiro’s application said it was not allowed in such matters “for a counsel without filing a formal application to announce his withdrawal from a case”, adding “our witness had come to Nigeria all the way from Germany purposely because of this case.”
In his ruling the trial Judge, Justice Oyewole granted the counsel prayers to step out of the case, but not without a stern warning to the accused person to produce a counsel before the next adjourned date.
The Judge agreed that the withdrawal of the lawyer will have effect on the smooth proceedings of the case, but said that the provision of service by the lawyer for the accused person was on contractual basis which can be terminated at any point in time.

He then adjourned the case till November 16, 2005 for further trial and for the accused person to produce his counsel. At the last date, the witness had told the court the graphic details of how he was allegedly duped by the duo of late Ibekwe and Okoro.

Munch told the court how he was introduced to a business of supplying computer wares for an Abuja Airport. According to him, his problems started in October 1992 when he received an envelope by post addressed to him as the MD of his company inviting an offer for supplying soft wares to the Accountant General of the Airport. “ I was interested in the offer because it could be a good chance for my young company to grow. Therefore I checked several companies like IBM if they would be able to finance the business when I finally get the offer. “I contacted one Dr A.O. Israel who gave me information regarding the business. He told me that the hardware, software and also the accessories had to be supplied to the Airport in Abuja. When I got this information, I got more interested in this contract. Also Dr Israel forced me to take part in business. He told me that it would be very interesting to cooperate with my company.” He said that along the line he was persuaded to lodge some amount of money through the account I was told to open in Germany purposely for the business.

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown