Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday fixed November 8 for ruling on the application for stay of proceeding filed by former Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako and his son, Abdulaziz.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the former governor and his son on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, fraud, stealing, abuse of office and money laundering on July 7, 2015.
Other defendants are – Sebore Farms and Extension Limited and Pagado Fortunes Limited.
The commission closed its case on November 3, 2019, after calling 21 witnesses to establish its case against the defendants.
Instead of opening their defence, the defendants elected to file a no-case submission in which they argued that the facts adduced by all the witnesses did not prove the allegation against them.
The court on July 19 dismissed the no-case submission following which the defendants approached the Court of Appeal to challenge the lower court’s decision.
At Friday’s proceedings, Justice Abang fixed the date after counsels concluded the argument on the matter.
The judge, who said he would have delivered a ruling on the application within three days, cited a heavy workload for his inability to give the ruling during the period.
He, therefore, adjourned the matter till November 8 to give his ruling.
READ ALSO: Court says ex-Gov Nyako has case to answer in N29bn fraud trial
The judge said that should the application for stay of proceedings succeed, the defendants would be granted reliefs and the court would proceed to make consequential orders as contained in the main reliefs.
He, however, held that if the application for stay of proceedings failed, the defendants would be ordered to open their defence on that day.
The defence counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), who filed the application on their behalf, told the court that the application basically was for the court to stay proceeding pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal.
He said the prosecution’s stand on the application did not represent the correct position of the law.
He insisted that the court had jurisdiction and inherent powers to adjudicate on any motion before it.
Agabi said: “Granting of stay of proceeding, depends on the law, facts and on the interest of justice.
“Application for a stay of proceeding is in the interim and at the discretion of the court, which must be exercised judicially and judiciously.”
He urged the court to grant his application in the interest of justice.
The prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, opposed the application for stay of proceedings and described it as an abuse of the court process.
He prayed the court to dismiss the application jointly and severally.
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