Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, November 19, 2020, adjourned hearing in the trial of Colonel Nicholas Ashinze, former aide of ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, till January 19, 2021.
The adjournment followed the withdrawal of the seventh prosecution witness (PW7), Hassan Seidu by prosecution counsel, Offem Uket, due to his inability to continue as witness as a result of his ongoing training at the Nigerian Defence College (NDC), Abuja. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is prosecuting Ashinze alongside three others and five companies for alleged criminal diversion of N5.6billion from the office of the former NSA. At the resumed trial today, prosecution counsel applied for the withdrawal of Seidu’s testimonies, already admitted in evidence hence the NDC has stated that the witness would not be able to make further court appearances in the trial due to the strictures of his training. Though Seidu is a detective with the EFCC, Uket told the court that the NDC where he is undergoing one year training, informed the Commission that the witness will face expulsion if he continues with his appearance in court as any absence from the college, occasioned by his court appearance would be deemed as abandoning his studies. While asking for the withdrawal of all exhibits and documents tendered from the witness in the course of his earlier testimonies, Uket prayed the court for adjournment to enable him identify the exhibits and documents to be withdrawn. The defence counsels did not object to the prayers of the prosecution, following which Justice Abang adjourned the matter till January 19, 2021 for continuation of trial.