Former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye yesterday made a u-turn to his earlier decision to file a no-case submission after the prosecution closed its case in his ongoing trial before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Gudu, Abuja.
This is the second time the former governor was changing his decision to suspend his defence over a plan to file his no-case submission.
An accused person files a no-case submission after the prosecution closes its case to contend that the prosecution’s evidence is not cogent to warrant opening his defence, and thus seeks an order striking out the charges against him.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is prosecuting Dariye, now a senator, on charges of alleged diversion of Plateau State’s ecological fund, estimated at N1.16billion while he was the state governor.
Earlier in the previous proceedings when the prosecution announced the closure of its case on June 8, after calling 10 witnesses, Dariye’s lawyer, Garba Pwul (SAN) informed the court about his client’s readiness to conduct his defence.
But on June 10, he changed his mind when parties returned to court for him to open his defence by opting to file a no-case submission.
The judge then fixed yesterday for the hearing of the no-case submission.
But yesterday, Pwul told the court presided over by Justice Adebukola Banjoko, that his client had changed his mind again and had dropped the plan to file a no-case submission.
He indicated that his client, who was governor of Plateau State between 1999 and 2007, would open his defence promptly.
Pwul had earlier informed the judge of four witness summons he filed to compel four individuals to appear in court and testify for his client.
Justice Banjoko had endorsed the summons, which were to be served on the affected individuals.
The judge yesterday adjourned the case till June 17 for Dariye to open his defence.