The trial of former Chairman of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria, NOGASA, Fatuyi Yemi Philips, before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos suffers set back due to the absence of the defence counsel.
Fatuyi Philips is facing a two-count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence to the tune of N43,502,000.00.
Philips who was first arraigned on April 7, 2022, is standing trial alongside Oceanview Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who is prosecuting him had after presenting its fifth and last witness on March 30, 2023, closed its case and the case was adjourned till today, May 26, 2023, for defence.
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
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The prosecution’s last witness, a Bureau de Change operator, Musa Mohammed, while being led in evidence by counsel for the EFCC, M.S. Owede narrated how he got to know the defendant and the business transaction that they engaged in.
The witness narrated how sometime in September 2016, the defendant met him and gave him $40,000 cash to help him change.
At today’s sitting there was no legal representation for the defendant, as the counsel for the prosecution informed the court that his attention was called to a letter sent by the defence counsel, Olarenwaju Ajanaku as to the prior notification that he would not be present in court today.
Owede, however, observed that he saw the defence counsel fully robed in this court on Monday, “yet he claimed that he has not been to the office this week”.
Thereafter the case was adjourned till Friday, June 16, 2023, for defence.