Judge's Absence Stalls Bankole’s Trial

Judge's Absence Stalls Bankole’s Trial

The trial of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, at the Federal High Court in Abuja was yesterday stalled as the trial Judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo was said to have been transferred to Taraba State.

Bankole is facing a 16-count charge of contract inflation and awards without following due process.

The contracts include 400 units of 40-inch Samsung TV sets supplied at N525, 000 each instead of N295, 000, 800 units of HP Compaq Desktop Computers at N330, 000 each instead of N160, 000, 100 units of Sharp Digital Copier 5316 at N270, 000 each instead of N160, 000 and 400 units of HP LaserJet at N150, 000 instead of N60, 000.

The alleged contract scam also include two units of Range Rover bullet proof vehicle, two units of Range Rover vehicles without bullet proof, three units of Mercedes Benz S-600 cars and 400 units of DSTV Systems all purchased without due process.

Following the transfer of Justice Okorowo, who had been hearing the matter, it was gathered that Bankole wrote to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta to allow Justice Okorowo come to Abuja from Taraba to sit on the matter.

When the matter came up yesterday, it was not clear whether the Chief Judge consented to Bankole’s request but the matter could not hold.

Already, the prosecution counsel had called two witnesses and intends to call more to prove to the court that Bankole is guilty of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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