1st defendant’s death stall N14bn Police Pension fraud trial

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed a motion before Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, to amend the charges in the criminal breach of trust and fraud to the tune of N14bn in the Police pension scheme.

The application for amended charges followed the death of the principal defendant, Esai Dangabar, who was facing charges alongside others.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, proceedings were stalled when the lead defence counsel, Adegboyega Awomolo, announced to the court the death of the first defendant, Dangabar, whom he said died on July 24, 2019.

In buttressing his point, Awomolo submitted the Garki Hospital death certificate of the defendant to the court and appreciated the concern and the accommodating spirit of the presiding judge since the commencement of the trial.

“I respectfully appreciate His Lordship for always giving the first defendant permission to travel for his treatment before his death.

“I pray for long life for his lordship,” he stated.

Prosecution counsel, A. O. Atolagbe, however, described Dangabar’s death as unfortunate and extended his condolences to his family and prayed the court for more time to amend the charges since the suspect was no longer alive.

“My Lord, I have seen the death certificate of the first defendant. It’s quite unfortunate. We will be asking for sometime to regularise the charges since the deceased is no longer involved,” Atolagbe said.

Justice Hussein, who extended his sympathy to the family of the deceased, adjourned the case to December 5, 2019, for the necessary amendments to the charges.

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