The arraignment of two former chairmen and ex-treasurer of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for alleged N25 million fraud was stalled yesterday at an Ikeja Special Offences Court.
The prosecuting team of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was not in court.
The anti-graft agency had scheduled the arraignment of the former NBA Ikeja chairmen, Adesina Ogunlana and Yinka Farounbi, alongside a former Treasurer, Mrs Derin Kappo, before Justice Mojisola Dada.
Farounbi, the second defendant, was absent.
Counsel to the defendants, Gbenga Ojo, told the court that the prosecuting team failed to show up in court because they had a different agenda.
He said: “The prosecution is not in court but their officials are downstairs with other EFCC officers waiting to arrest the defendants.
“The EFCC now owns this country and they operate openly with high handedness.
“As my lord can see, the defendants have presented themselves ready to be arraigned but the EFCC is nowhere to be found.
“They filed an application before the court on April 22 but they are absent in court. The EFCC just wants to embarrass the defendants.”
Justice Dada adjourned the arraignment of the defendants till May 21.
The former NBA chairmen were earlier invited by the EFCC following a petition by three members of Ikeja branch of the NBA on alleged misappropriation of N25 million belonging to the branch.
The petition, dated May 23, last year, and signed by Mr. Richard Nwankwo, Dan C. Okoye, Mr. Gabriel Opayinka and Mr. Olubunmi Martin said Odeniyi, Farounbi, Ogunlana, alongside Mrs Kappoh, allegedly connived to misappropriate the funds of the association.