A former Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Haruna Jauro, has withdrawn his proposal to enter a plea bargain agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The commission arraigned him at the Federal High Court in Lagos for alleged N304.1million fraud.
Jauro’s lead counsel, Babajide Koku (SAN), had told the court on October 23 that his client would explore plea bargain agreement with the prosecution.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola urged the parties to reach an agreement without delay.
But on Tuesday, another defence counsel, Olalekan Ojo, informed the court that the plea bargain talks had broken down and that Jauro was ready to proceed with the trial.
It was learnt from a reliable source that Jauro changed his mind about the plea bargain proposal.
When EFCC’s lawyer, Nkereuwem Anana, made to lead the agency’s operative, Orji Chukwuma, in evidence, Ojo objected.
He said the prosecution did not serve his client with the witness statement as required by law prior to commencement of trial.
Anana admitted that Chukwuma’s statement was not served on the defence, saying it was due to an “oversight.”
“It may have been due to the oversight of the person who filed the processes. We’ll ask for a short adjournment to put our house in order,” he said.
Justice Mojisola-Olatoregun held that the charge substantially complied with law since it contained the basic information regarding the allegations, including name of the defendant, date of offence and place, and particulars of laws violated.
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