A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday expunged proceedings in the trial of a former Governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani, who is charged with N5.3 billion fraud.
Justice Chuka Obiozor expunged the proceedings at the instance of the prosecution, who informed the court of the intention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to file a new charge against Nnamani and his former aide, Sunday Anyaogu.
After the counsel had announced their appearances, the prosecutor, Mr Kelvin Uzozie, told the court that the EFCC had re-appraised the case and came to the conclusion that rather than continue with the old charge marked FHC/L/09c/2007, “it would be best to bring a fresh charge sheet.”
Counsel to the first and second accused, Mr Rickey Tafa and Mr Victor Obaro, did not opposed the prosecution’s application.
However, Nnamani’s lawyer informed the court that at the last proceedings, the defence had filed an affidavit for termination of the charge FHC/L/09C/07 which, he said, had been conceded to by the prosecution.
He argued that at the time the case was reassigned, there was no charge, having filed an application to strike out same.
In response, the prosecutor said his request to court was that the entire proceedings before the court be set aside with liberty to the prosecution to file a new charge.
Asked by the judge if the existing charge should be struck out, Uzozie urged the judge to take it that there was no charge before him and expunge all the proceedings observed so far before him.
Ruling on the submissions of the parties, Justice Obiozor expunged and struck out the entire proceedings as sought by prosecution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nnamani and Anyaogu are being prosecuted by the EFCC for N5.3 billion fraud.
They were first arraigned in 2007 alongside six companies for allegedly conspiring to divert about N5.3 billion from the coffers of Enugu State.
The case which had been handled by at least three judges was assigned to Justice Obiozor in December 2017.