Azibaola and his wife, Stella.

By Ige Olugbenga

The trial of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Azibaola Robert, wife, Stella and company, Oneplus, stalled on Friday for the second time over the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) attempt to file fresh evidence.

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The suspects are standing trial over $40million contract before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Although the defendants were ready to take on an EFCC operative, David Nkpe, who appeared as the tenth prosecution witness today, counsel for the prosecution Sylvanus Tahir, again pleaded with the judge, just as he did on Wednesday, to grant him permission to ‘attend to another matter’ in another court.

There was a heated debate between the two parties when the prosecution tried to introduce some documents which were not listed in the proof of evidence and served on the defendants as required by the court, which the defendants objected to the move.

The development forced the judge to stand down the matter for one hour to enable the prosecution to furnish the defendants with the ‘fresh evidence’.

But upon resumption, the EFCC counsel asked the judge for permission to attend to another matter in a different court.

The EFCC operative, who was the tenth witness called by the prosecution, is the only one who claimed to have investigated Robert and his company, Oneplus and discovered that the $40 million paid to them by the ONSA was for a ‘Safe House’ but could not explain to the judge what a safe house is.

But on Wednesday, when he appeared as a witness for the EFCC, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, who runs Teledom International Limited, denied transacting any business with or knowing Robert, his wife or his company.