The trial of a Nollywood producer, Seun Egbegbe resumed yesterday Nov 5th but it was stalled as the trial judge insisted that the case could not go on except the prosecutor, Innocent Anyigor, pays a fine of N50,000 imposed on him during the previous proceedings.
Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, sitting at the Federal High Court in Lagos, rejected the plea by the police prosecutor that the N50,000 be waived. The judge rebuked the prosecutor for the slow pace at which the case had proceeded since Egbegbe and his co-defendants were arraigned in February last year.
The judge during the previous hearing awarded N50,000 cost against Anyigor after the defence counsel raised objection to the competence of a police officer, Godwin Omaka, to testify in the case.
In view of the judge’s refusal to waive the fine, the prosecutor pleaded to be given two weeks to raise the money. But Justice Oguntoyinbo said she could not grant any adjournment longer than seven days, noting that the case had already dragged.
She subsequently adjourned the case till November 7, 2018, directing the prosecutor to ensure that the fine was paid.
Egbegbe and four others are charged with alleged serial frauds involving N39,098,100, $90,000 and £12,550. They were accused of fraudulently obtaining the money from no fewer than 40 Bureau De Change operators in Lagos over a period of two years 2015 to 2017.
Egbegbe and his co-defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the 40 counts pressed against them. Those standing trial alongside Egbegbe are Oyekan Ayomide, Lawal Kareem, Olalekan Yusuf and Muyideen Shoyombo.