The judge handling the trial of former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam and the state’s ex-Finance Commissioner, Okpanachi Oklobia, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, withdrew from the case on Monday. Justice Mohammed withdrew from the case, citing a publication in an online media – Sahara Reporters – which he said cast him in bad light.
Suswam and Oklobia are standing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja, for allegedly diverting about N3.111billion, proceeds from sales of Benue State’s shares in some companies. At the last hearing of the case, prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), expressed concern that one of his witnesses had be tampered with.
Jacobs was concerned about the sudden change of testimony by a prosecution witness, Abubakar Umar, who contradicted his earlier statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).