It seems to have become a common trend for people who are standing trial for the stealing public funds to develop some form of ailments which cause delays in ensuring that justice takes its rightful course. In the same vein, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja was on Thursday, told that the second accused person, Mrs Chidi Phina, in the ongoing pension scam trial has been hospitalised.
As a result of this, the joint trial, which involves a former director of Pension Administration in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Fedration, Sani Teidi Shaibu and nine others for allegedly embezzling N4.56 billion was stalled and subsequently adjourned till January 16, 2013.
In the criminal trial, all the accused persons are expected to be physically present before trial can proceed. Counsel for Phina, Godwin Uche, tendered a medical report from the National Hospital and asked for an adjournment. Prosecuting counsel, Emmanuel Egbuagwu from Godwin Obla’s chambers did not oppose the application for adjournment, saying that the trial could not proceed in the absence of any of the accused persons since it was a joint trial.
It will be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had earlier re-arraigned Shaibu and nine others alongside 30 companies before the court on an amended 24-count charge over the N4.56 billion pension scam.