The trial of a Lagos socialite and politician, Kenny Martins, for an alleged N7.74billion fraud through the Police Equipment Fund (PEF) has been rescheduled for June 30.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Mr Martins, the PEF coordinator, alongside three others: Ibrahim Dumuje, Joni Icheka, and Cosmas Okpara.
They were charged with felony to forge documents at the at Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja in a bid to fraudulently change the members of the Board of Directors of NIGERSTALG LIMITED, original partner with the Federal Government on the PEF, and steal N7.74billion.
According to part of the charges, the accused committed the crime on March 31, 2006, an offence punishable under Section 97(1) of the Penal Code, Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 1990 (Abuja).”
The EFCC, on November 24, 2009, had appealed against the judgment of Mohammed Talba, judge of a federal capital territory high court, Gudu, which discharged the accused after he upheld their “no-case submission.”
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC filed an appeal in Abuja, asking the appellate court to set aside the judgment which it described as a “perverse verdict and miscarriage of justice.”
Later, In its decision, the appellate court on June 28, 2012, held that the four accused persons have a case to answer and that Justice Talba misdirected himself and was wrong to have discharged them on a “no-case submission”.
But Mr Martins further approached the Supreme Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal.
However, on March 23, 2018, the apex court dismissed Mr Martins’ appeal, ordering his retrial.
EFCC, therefore, amended the charges to three counts in Charge No: CR/267/18 at the FCT High Court, and arraigned the four accused persons before Justice Modupe Adebiyi of the Federal High Court on January 15.
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Justice Adebiyi had scheduled April 28 for trial in the case before the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of courts.
But as the federal government relaxes the lockdown, the EFCC in a statement signed by its spokesperson on Wednesday, said the retrial of Mr Martins and the three other accused persons would begin on June 30.