Justice Danlami Senchi has adjourned hearing to June 11, 2019 on the application brought by Duaziya Louya Etete a.k.a Dan Etete, Mohammed Bello Adoke and four others to set aside a warrant of arrest of the same court against them.
Justice Senchi had ordered the arrest of Etete, Adoke, Ralph Wetzels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, and Burrato Sebastiano on April 17, 2019 for not making themselves available for trial since 2017.
Etete and others are facing prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for alleged fraudulent allocation of Oil Prospecting License, OPL 245 and OPL 214; conspiracy, money laundering to the tune of over $1.2 billion; forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption against Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd that belongs to Etete.
Also standing trial are Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep (SNUD), Nigeria Agip Exploration (NAE) and their officials.
Etete’s counsel, L.O Ikwegwe told the court that she had just been served with the EFCC’s counter-affidavit and would need time to respond to it.
Joe Gadzama SAN, who is representing the fifth, sixth and seventh defendants told the court that he was in the same boat with his colleagues as he was yet to see the EFCC’s counter-affidavit and therefore, will be asking for an adjournment. .
He told the court that he served the EFCC the defendant’s affidavit since April 24, 2019, accompanied with the hearing notice, adding that with the new issues introduced in the counter-affidavit, he would be filing additional processes.
He urged the court to make the prosecution an undertaking not to proceed with the arrest since there was a legal challenge to it.
He urged the court to put the order on hold since the matter was not heard.
Faje Opasanya SAN, representing the fourth defendant also told the court that he was also constrained to ask for adjournment as new allegations were raised in the EFCC’s counter-affidavit.