A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted an application to list a former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as prosecution witness in a trial of alleged misapplication of N2.5bn Federal Government Digital Switch-Over programme.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, granted the application by the prosecution, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, following the withdrawal of the objection earlier raised by the defendants to the ex-minister’s appearance as a witness.
Recall that the ICPC is prosecuting the Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Mr Ishaq Kawu in the court, for alleged abuse of office and money laundering
The anti-graft agency had filed a 12-count against Kawu, Lucky Omoluwa and Dipo Onifade, the Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Pinnacle Communications Limited respectively.
After calling two witnesses, the ICPC filed the application seeking to add Mohammed; a Bureau de Change operator, Shuaibu Sabo as additional witnesses in the trial.
Counsel for Omoluwa and Onifade, Dr. Alex Iziyon(SAN), had filed a motion prohibiting the prosecution from listing Mohammed and Sabo as additional witnesses.
At the resumed hearing of the trial on Thursday, Mr Abayomi Oyelola who held the brief of Iziyon, said they were withdrawing the motion opposing the list of additional witnesses by the ICPC.
Justice Oginbanjo-Giwa, thereafter struck out the motion by the defendants.
The judge has also granted the applications by the defendants seeking the release of their passports to enable them travel abroad for official functions.
The court’s decision was also sequel to the withdrawal of the counter affidavit of the ICPC challenging the release of the travelling documents.