Trial of ex-INEC Commissioner resumes June 4


By Onozure Dania
THE trial of a former Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gesila Khan, and a former staff of the commission, Peter Popnen, has been slated for June 4 and 5, 2008 for continuation.

INEC National Chairman, Mahamood Yakubu addressing pressmen on new release of 2019 Election Time Table and Schedule of Activities for 2019 Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections while at INEC Office Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

The defendants are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged bribery in the sum of N185.842 million.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied any wrong doing.

The defendants have pledged their readiness for the trial to prove their innocence.
The trial was stalled last Friday after thugs invaded the Federal High Court premises in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The trial judge, Justice Bilikisu Aliyu had slated the trial for the whole of last week. On Thursday, the judge adjourned till Friday .
But on Friday, Senator Magnus Abe was at the Federal High Court for an order to stop the All Progressives Congress, APC, local government congresses from holding in Rivers State.

However, events took a turn for the worse as thugs who stormed the court premises to stop the judge from sitting, vandalised vehicles and other property belonging to the court.

Justice Aliyu could therefore not sit. Counsel in the case said that they expected a new date to be communicated to them.
Counsel to the first defendant, Mr .Selekeowei Larry, SAN, confirmed that the trial was indeed stalled.

The prosecution had already called four witnesses and tendered several documents as exhibits. The defendants’ counsel had also cross-examined the witnesses.

The prosecution is expected to continue with the examination of his witnesses.



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