An Ikeja High Court on Thursday adjourned the trial of a former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank (Access Bank), Erastus Akingbola, to Sept. 10.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Justice Habeeb Abiru vacated the July 18 and 19 earlier fixed for the trial.
The judge said this would give the defence counsel enough time to assemble his witnesses and produce them in court.
Akingbola and Bayo Dada, General Manager of Tropics Finance Ltd, were charged with stealing N47.1 billion belonging to the bank.
The defence counsel, who was represented by Mr Michael Sunbola, asked the court to adjourn the matter and to vacate the other dates earlier fixed for the trial.
Sunbola said the defence counsel was unable to produce any witness in court and needed more time to contact them for appearance.
Mr Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), however opposed the application for an adjournment.
Ukala said the reasons given for the adjournment were “callous’’ and urged the court to disregard the application.
“The story of the defence for their inability to get the witnesses is callous.
“From the story, it appears that they are determined as they have demonstrated in the past, not to take the case seriously," he told the court.
Ukala, therefore, urged the court to call the two accused persons to testify if other witnesses were not available or in the alternative, to close the case of the defence.
Abiru, however, warned the defence team and fixed Sept. 10 for continuation of trial.