Court adjourns Dariye’s trial till April 27

By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

Justice Adebukola Banjoko of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gudu, yesterday, adjourned to April 27, for further hearing on trial of former Plateau state Governor, Joshua Dariye. Dariye is facing a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of state ecological funds to the tune of N1.2billion leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC. At the last adjourned date March 16, Garba Pwul, prayed the court to grant him leave to withdraw from handling Dariye’s case.

Counsel to Anti-graft agency, Rotimi Jacobs, vehemently objected the application for withdrawal. According to him, a counsel had a greater responsibility to the court not only to the client. “A legal practitioner, other than a law offi cer, engaged in any matter shall be bound to conduct the case on behalf of the prosecution or defendant until fi nal judgment, unless allowed for any special reason.

“Where a legal practitioner intends to disengage from a matter, he shall notify the court, not less than three days before the date fi xed for hearing and such notice shall be served on the court and all parties,” he submitted. He, thereby, urged the court to dismiss the application as incompetent. In her ruling, Justice Banjoko, pointed out Rule 21 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Professional which addresses circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of a lawyer from employment. Justice Banjoko, in her response, granted Dariye time to get a new counsel. Th e matter was adjourned till April 27 and 28, 2017, respectively

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