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N6.5bn Aviation Scam: EFCC accuses Borishade's Aide of delaying trial

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has frowned at the “time-wasting attitude” of Mr. Tunde Dairo, a Personal Assistant to a former Minister of Aviation, Professor Babalola Borishade, in the suit instituted against him at a Federal Capital Territory , FCT High Court, Abuja , saying that such an attitude amounted to crude attempt to frustrate prosecution. Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN, Counsel to Dairo had at the court session today, Monday May 23 presented a letter notifying the court of an interlocutory appeal entered in the Court of Appeal challenging the ruling of the court on the admissibility of evidences against the accused and asking for an adjournment of the case to a further date.

EFCC Counsel, Sebastine Hon, SAN, in response, said that it was wrong for the third accused to write such a letter which was brought on the adjourned date without being at the court to defend it. According to him, “ We are not satisfied with this development. It is not right for a counsel to sit in his office and write a letter which he knows needed some reply and he is not even here.” He urged the court to discountenance the letter and proceed with the case. Hon was represented in court by Daniel Penda.

The trial judge, Justice Sadiq Umar, agreed with the EFCC counsel saying that the propriety of Awomolo's letter was questionable. He, therefore, reserved further comment on the letter till Tuesday, May 24th, for Awomolo to address the court on it and also for the prosecution counsel to argue his case on it.

However, counsel to Babalola Borishade , Afe Babalola SAN, who also received the letter urged the court to consider the merit of its content as according to him, all processes had been filed at the Appeal Court . His position was also taken by Chidi Ezenwafor, counsel to, Roland Iyayi while R. Okotie-Eboh counsel to the 4th and 5th accused, George Eider and Avsatel Communications Ltd opted to be neutral. Justice Umar subsequently adjourned the case till Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Diaro, Borishade, and three others are standing trial for allegedly taking bribes and forging documents relating to a N6.5bn aviation contract. They were arraigned on a 15 count amended charge on November 19, 2009.