A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till July 14, to deliver judgment in a fundamental rights suit by Chief Government Ekpemulopo, alias Tompolo against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Tompolo, who had been declared wanted since February 12, 2016 by the EFCC, is seeking court’s protection against prosecution over an alleged N45.9 billion fraud.
Respondents in the fundamental rights suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the Chief of Army Staff, the EFCC, the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff. The case, which was earlier slated for judgment, was further adjourned till July 14, following the absence of the trial judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, who is said to be attending a workshop.
At the last adjourned date, counsel to the applicant and respondents, had adopted their processes before the court. Adopting his originating processes, counsel to the first and second respondents, Mr T. A Mofolu, had argued that the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, provides for speedy criminal trials.
In his argument, Tompolo’s lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said in criminal law, service of a charge was personal and could not be presumed, adding that there was no evidence before the court showing that exhibit A (charge) was served on the applicant.
On the issue of contempt, Adegboruwa submitted that the applicant could not be cited for contempt, adding that since the beginning of the proceedings, the applicant had not breached any court order.