A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has fixed ruling on the no-case submission filed by suspended Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mounir Gwarzo and an Executive Commissioner in the agency, Zakawanu Garuba.
The trial judge Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf has therefore fixed April 12 to determine whether or not to uphold it.
Gwarzo and Garuba are standing trial on an amended five-count charge filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
They are accused of misappropriating public funds estimated at N115 million and conferring corrupt advantage on a public officer.
The defendants resorted to making a no-case submission at the conclusion of the prosecution’s case.
Lawyers to the defendants, Abdulhakem Mustapha (SAN) and Robert Emukpoeruo, as well as prosecution lawyer, Raheem Adesina, adopted their written submissions on Monday
Counsel to Gwarzo, Mustapha, urged the court to uphold his client’s no-case submission, arguing that the prosecution has not been able to adduce any credible or sufficient evidence that will make the 1st defendant to enter a defence.
He said the no-case submission was brought under sections 302 and 303 of the Administration if Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
Mustapha argued that the prosecution failed to make out any prima facie case against his client. Adding: “ All the evidence adduced were contradictory”.
He noted further that the prosecution, in its written address in opposition to the submission, relied on the law on certain political office holders, but admitted that SEC was not listed in the law.
Mustapha urged the court to dismiss the charge, and discharge and acquit the 1st defendant.
In his arguments, Emukpoeruo, standing for the second defendant also aligned with the position of the counsel to the first defendant urging the court to discharge and acquit his client.
In his counter-submission, Adesina urged the court to dismiss the defendants’ no-case submissions and order them to enter their defence.
Adesina argued that there was the need for the defendants to explain to the court where they get the severance package from since there was nowhere in Exhibit ICPC 3 before the court where severance package was mention.
According to him, there was no single word of severance benefit in the SEC Board resolution of July, 2002 (Exhibit ICPC 3), saying that what was approved and collected was severance benefit when the first defendant never retired from SEC.
Meanwhile, the defendants took fresh plea on Monday when Adesina informed the court about an amendment to the charge, but they pleaded not guilty.