A Federal High Court in Abuja has approved the request of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that charges against former FCT Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai should be pasted on the wall of his residence at 12 Mambila Street, Maitama, Abuja due to the non availability of Rufai to receive court papers.
Rufai is facing an eight count charge of criminal conspiracy and abuse of office during his tenure as FCT minister. Two other persons who are being prosecuted alongside El-Rufai are Altine Jubrin, former director general, Abuja Geographic Information System, AGIS, and Ismaila Iro, former general manager of AGIS. While the other two accused persons have been served their summons, efforts to serve El-Rufai have proved abortive.Counsel to the EFCC, Adebayo Adelokun SAN on Wednesday July 8, told the court that he has filed an application dated 30th June 2009 with which he seeks to bring the former minister to face the law. The application which seeks the leave of the court for the service of charge / summons to be affixed to the residential address of the accused person was supported with a 13 paragraph affidavit.
While addressing the court on his application to ensure the trial takes off, Adelokun submitted further that he had to resort to this as several efforts to serve the charges/summons on the accused person were unsuccessful despite the exercise of due diligence.
“In order to take care of this situation, we have before your lordship a humble application filed 30th of June. Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) was designed for situations like this.
I urge your lordship to exercise power under that law in granting this application,”, he stated, citing the judgment of the court of appeal on Adamu Vs Akukalia to support his motion.
Adelokun told the court that in one of the attempts to serve the accused person, the charge was served on one of the occupants of the house which got to the knowledge of the accused hence his move to engage a counsel.While ruling on the application, Justice Adamu Bello agreed with the submission of EFCC counsel that the court baliff can serve the charges/summons on the accused by pasting them on his residence in Abuja “ as all due dilegence has been observed in the past to serve the accused and the accused has the presence of mind to engage a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Akin Olujimi as his counsel.”
After delivering his ruling in favour of EFCC, Justice Adamu Bello fixed October 14, 2009 for the hearing of the substantive case.