The absence of the prosecution team from the Nigerian Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU) on Monday halted the trial of eight staff members and one businessman accused of stealing N451million from Dangote Sugar Refinery Ltd.
Journalists report that the staff is; Musa Sule, Joseph Ukpah, Babatunde Ajao, Onyekwere Chinedu, Alayande Rahman, Omoro Ezekiel, Abugba Christian Odion, and Mannir Mohammed.
A businessman, Habib Mande, and his company, El-Habib Property Nigeria Ltd, are also facing trial along with the defendants on one count of eight counts of conspiracy, theft, falsification of the check request form and presentation of fake documents.
According to the prosecution, the defendants, who committed the crimes between 2012 and 2016 together with Zainab Adebanjo, who is now a fugitive, conspired and stole 451 million naira belonging to the company.
“On November 30, 2015, September 7, 2015, and April 26, 2016, they also forged and issued counterfeit check request forms with numbers 132243, 132229, and 132279, respectively,” Jackson said, adding that the offenses contravene Sections 383 (1), 390 (9), 465, 467 468 and 561 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 ..
The defendants’ attorneys, Messrs. SE Okeke, Kola Kadiri and AO Omodele, expressed their dismay that Emmanuel Jackson did not attend the proceedings on Monday.
They urged the court to take notice of the defense attorney’s actions and archive the case due to the lack of a diligent prosecution.
Judge Sedotan Ogunsanya postponed the case until January 20, 2021 for the continuation of the trial.