The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has dismissed the application by Jennifer Timinipre Turner, wife of George Turner, former Special Adviser to Mr. Dan Abia, erstwhile Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, challenging the admissibility of the statement she had volunteered to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The statement which the EFCC had sought to tender in evidence on February 27, was opposed by the defence counsel, Prof. Amuda Kaneke. Relying on Section 232 of the Evidence Act, he urged the court to mark the “statement” rejected.
However, prosecuting counsel, A.I. Arogha, described the application as misconceived, and urged the court to discountenance the objection.
At the resumed hearing of the case on March 20, Justice Mohammed, upheld the submission of the prosecution and admitted the statement in evidence as “Exhibit C”.
Justice Mohammed similarly dismissed the application by counsel to the 9th defendant, Concerned Niger Delta Youth Initiative, Prof Amuda Kaneke, who had stated that his client was not known to law having not been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC) and could not sue or be sued. He therefore asked that his client be struck off the charge.
But prosecution counsel, Arogha, had opposed the submission, insisting that 9th defendant is incorporated with CAC and tendered its certificate of incorporation as exhibit “EFCC 1”. Justice Mohammed aligned himself with submission of the prosecution, noting that the defendant failed to controvert or challenge the averment of the prosecution and exhibit EFCC 1, being the certificate of incorporation. He therefore, dismissed the preliminary objection as lacking merit.
The judge also upheld the prosecution’s argument that there was sufficient material linking the 9th defendant to the charge.
Afterwards, the defendants continued their defence. But the attempt by the defence to present Eugene Nwuozi ,who had earlier testified as prosecution witness, PW16, as Defence witness, DW1, was opposed by the prosecution.
“He had earlier testified in this case as PW16 against the same set of defendants and complainant. Cross-examined on behalf of the defendant by the same law firm of Prof. Amuda Kaneke, SAN. We submit that this witness having testified for the prosecution and cross-examined by the defence, the same defence cannot validly call him as defence witness, whatever it was that they could have elicited from him.”