The immediate past Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on March 23, 2020. Channels Television Sodiq Adelakun.

The absence of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, again stalled the trial continuation of former Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, on allegations bordering on fraud.

Although counsel to the parties in the matter, including the defendants, were in court, Justice Taiwo was not in court.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the case could not also hold on October 20, 2020, because the judge, who sat during the annual vacation of the Federal High Court, proceeded on leave.

The matter was, however, fixed for December 1.

When the matter came up on December 1, 2020, counsel to the former HoS, Paul Erokoro, and other defendants’ lawyers, urged the court to adjourn the trial indefinitely over alleged abuse of court process by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge then adjourned the ruling on the application by the defendants’ counsel until Dec. 3, 2020 but the matter could not hold, and was later fixed for January 13.

However, the matter did not come up as scheduled and the lawyers involved in the case took another date after the court registrar informed them that the court would not be sitting.

The case was then fixed for January 28.

NAN reports that Mrs Oyo-Ita was arraigned before Justice Taiwo, on March 20, 2020, by the EFCC on an 18-count charge bordering on fraud to the tune of about N471, 633, 291.

Her Special Assistant, Ubong Effiok, and a businessman, Garba Umar, are among the defendants.

Other defendants are Frontline Ace Global Services Limited, Asanaya Projects Ltd, Garba Umar Slopes International Ltd., Gooddeal Investments Ltd, U & U Global Services Ltd, which is linked to Effiok and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges. (NAN)

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