Trial Of Ex-Naval Chief, Others Continue Today

Justice A. S. Umar of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja yesterday adjourned to tomorrow for further hearing on a corruption case involving a former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin and two others: Rear Admiral Bala Mshelia (rtd) and Rear Admiral Shehu Ahmadu (rtd).

Shortly after the counsels have entered their appearances, Jibrin’s counsel, Y. C. Maikyau, SAN, drew the attention of the court to the fact that, the document used in the transaction of the property allegedly acquired by his client was not front-loaded in the proof of evidence by the prosecution.

He invited the court to order the prosecution to provide same as stipulated by law.

Maikyau, also prayed the court for the release of the international passport of his client to enable him travel abroad for medicals.

However, counsel to EFCC, Joseph O. Uzor, wanted the defence to indicate the time his client is embarking on the trip and how long his is staying, should the court is inclined to grant his application.

He also urged the court to enforce the return of the passport immediately the applicant returns from the trip.

In granting the application, Justice Umar ordered the defence counsel to indicate the time his client is staying and ensure the return of the passport to the court when he is back.

Jibrin and his co-accused are standing trial alongside Habour Bay International Limited, a company linked to the first defendant, on a 4-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The naval chiefs whilst in office allegedly bought a house worth N600million from the account of Naval Engineering Services without the said purchase contract being captured in the budget.

It was also alleged that, the documentation for transfer of ownership of the property was done such that a private company owned by the family of the first defendant (Jibrin) became the buyer.