The absence of the prosecuting team from the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force on Monday stalled the trial of eight staff and a businessman accused of stealing N451million from Dangote Sugar Refinery Ltd.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the staff are; Musa Sule, Joseph Ukpah, Babatunde Ajao, Onyekwere Chinedu, Alayande Rahman, Omoro Ezekiel, Abugba Christian Odion and Mannir Mohammed.
A businessman, Habib Mande and his company, El-Habib Property Nigeria Ltd, are also facing trial alongside the defendants on eight counts of conspiracy, stealing, forgery of cheque requisition form and rendering false document.
According to the prosecution, the defendants, who committed the offences between 2012 and 2016 alongside Zainab Adebanjo, who is now at large, conspired and stole N451million belonging to the company.
“On November 30, 2015, Sept. 7, 2015 and April 26, 2016, they also forged and uttered false cheque requisition forms with numbers 132243, 132229 and 132279, respectively,” Jackson said, adding that the offences contravened Sections 383(1), 390(9), 465, 467 468 and 561 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
Counsel for the defendants, Messrs S. E. Okeke, Kola Kadiri and A. O. Omodele expressed their dismay for the failure of Emmanuel Jackson, to attend Monday’s proceedings.
They urged the court to take cognizance of the defence counsel’s actions and strike out the case due to lack of diligent prosecution.
Justice Sedotan Ogunsanya, adjourned the case until January 20, 2021 for continuation of trial.