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Dino trial: Judge gives FG last adjournment to present witnesses

Justice Olasumbo Goodluck of an FCT High Court on Wednesday gave the Federal Government’s counsel a last adjournment in the trial of Senator Dino Malaye, over alleged giving of false information to the police.

Goodluck,  gave the advice following an application by Mr. Shuaibu Labaran, prosecution counsel, praying the court for an adjournment  to enable him bring his next witness.

The judge warned:”this will be the last time I will be adjourning the matter”.

She adjourned the case until July 3, July 4 and July 10.

Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, is charged with two counts bordering on giving false information to the police.

The Federal Government arraigned Melaye, alleging that he, sometime in April, 2017 deliberately gave false information to the police.

Earlier, Labaran, told the court that the matter was for cross-examination of the first prosecution witness (PW1).

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He said that at the previous sitting, the cross examination had started until an adjournment was sought, according to him the cross examination should continue.

The defendant counsel, Mr Olusegun Jowaalo asked the witness, Mr Edward Onoja if he knew one Mohammed Audu which he mentioned in his testimony and can recognise his voice.

The witness said he can recognise Audu’s voice because he (Onoja ) had listened to him from his voices in radio talk shows ” he is also a member of APC” .

Onoja told the court that the reports he gave to the police was both written and oral.

” I can’t remember when the statements were made to the police, I think sometime in 2017″ he said.

Jowaalo informed the court that he had ended his cross examination.

Shuaibu also informed the court that the matter was earlier adjourned until July 4 and July 10 also, according to him they (prosecution ) resumes with their next witness.

” We have two more witnesses and one of them would be coming from outside the country and his travel documents needed to be processed ” he said.

Jowaalo urged the court to issue an order compelling the prosecution to make their witnesses available.

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The witness in May 30, was not present in court when he was supposed to be cross-examined by the defence counsel.

The prosecution , therefore, prayed the court for an adjournment.

The defence counsel, Mr Olusegun Jolaawo, opposed the application for adjournment and told the court that “On Jan. 18, this matter came up with the same excuse.

“The reason why the matter could not go on that day was that the same witness was absent in court and no tenable reason was given this is the second time on record as a witness who is in the box is absent from court.

“The witness has an obligation to make himself available on every adjourned date, whether court sits or not until your lordship orders his discharge. We could not carry out cross-examination majorly because he is absent from court” he said.

Jolaawo reminded the court that “Section 215 of the Evidence Act further clarifies on the issue of the order and direction of examination, by the following subsections:

According to Mr Jolaawo, this section of Evidence Act gives them the right to cross-examine a witness. (NAN )