Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the trial of Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, till February 16, 2022.
Marley is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when he was arraigned on May 20, 2019.
At the last sitting on October 27, 2021, Augustine Anosike, a forensic analyst testifying as the second prosecution witness, had concluded his examination-in-chief. The court subsequently adjourned till November 30, 2021 for cross-examination.
At today’s proceeding, however, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that the witness was absent in court on “compassionate grounds”.
“I only got information as to the absence of the witness at about 9.30am while still in the parking lot of the court this morning,” he said, stressing that it was not in his character to waste the court’s time.
Defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, however, lamented the delay.
“It is rather unfortunate that the matter could not proceed today.
“ The prosecution ought to have given sufficient notice of the witness’ absence,” he said.
Subsequently, Justice Oweibo adjourned till February 16 and 17, 2022 for continuation of trial.