The prosecution of a former Director of Finance in the defunct President Goodluck Jonathan’s Campaign Organisation, Dr Ngozi Olejeme in an alleged N3 billion fraud was put on hold on Monday in Abuja as a result of an acute diabetes ailment allegedly suffered by the accused person.
Justice Maryam Hassan Aliyu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) postponed the trial to December 6 following a passionate plea by her counsel, Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN) to that effect.
When the trial was to commence, Erokoro told the Judge that doctors treating Mrs Olejeme had called her to report immediately to the hospital as she was having fainting spells, Daily Post reports.
The senior lawyer said the defendant had been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years and had had four major surgeries in the United States of America and South Africa.
According to him, she recently suffered heart failure and tested positive for COVID-19.
He said she was still in the recovery process.
Justice Aliyu, therefore, fixed December 6 for resumption of the trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on October 21 arraigned Mrs Olejeme on nine counts.
She was accused of abusing her office, receiving a bribe, awarding contracts without due process, among others.
Mrs Olejeme, a former Chairman of the Board of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), was on October 22 admitted to bail by the Judge after spending 24 hours in the custody of the anti-graft agency on the order of the court.
Justice Aliyu adopted the conditions attached to the administrative bail earlier granted Olejeme by the prosecuting agency, EFCC in 2017 to admit her to bail.
The conditions are that the defendant
would produce two Deputy Directors in government employment to stand as her sureties.
In one of the counts, Mrs Olejeme was alleged to have “dishonestly received the sum of N22,200,000.00” from a contractor with NSITF into her personal GTBank account.