The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has urged a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, presided by Justice Sadiq Abubakar Umar, to strike out the no-case applications brought by the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai and two of his co-accused.
The former minister and his co-accused are seeking to quash a case of abuse of office brought against them by the anti graft agency.
The others charged alongside El-Rufai are Altine Jibrin, former Director-General of the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS) and its former General Manager, Ismail Iro.
The trio was specifically charged for illegal conversion of Plot 1201, a land meant for the building of a transmitting/injection sub-station for the PHCN in Asokoro.
They were also alleged to have conspired and converted Plot 3352 in Maitama, belonging to NIPOST, originally earmarked for the building of a district post office.
At the resumed hearing of the case, which was slated for address, counsel to EFCC, Adebayo Adelodun, (SAN), prayed the court to discountenance the application of no case submission by the accused persons and urged it to rule that they answer the charges preferred against them.
“Running through the entirety of the written address as well as the adumbration, it is a misconception on the part of the defence to suggest we have to prove anything at this stage,” the EFCC counsel said.
“This stage is whether a prima facie case has been made out and not to prove any ingredient of offences alleged. All that we are required to do at this stage is to link the accused persons with the charges, however tangible or remote,” Adelodun stated.
He urged the court to note that the Commission has placed before it all documentary and oral evidences which include the accused person’s statements and that the case before it is a case of some people who occupy public office to use such to gratify and or benefit themselves, their relations and friends.
Earlier, counsel to the defence, Kanu Agabi (SAN) and Akin Olujimi (SAN), had in their different submissions canvassed for the quashing of the case on the ground that the prosecution has not proved any of the charges in evidence which according to them, were manifestly unreliable or discredited in cross-examination.
They had argued that the central allegation that the plots in contention were originally allocated to PHCN and NIPOST in the Abuja Master plan had been discredited by failure to produce the master plan and that plots were neither enumerated nor allocated in the master plan.
The judge has reserved ruling to a yet-to-be-determined date.