The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, has reassigned the case involving two former ministers,Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and Nenadi Usman to a new Judge.
The case was reassigned to Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court in Lagos, following the withdrawal of Justice Muslim Hassan from the suit in March 2017.
Channels however reported that the new judge has consequently ordered that hearing notices be issued to all parties, and the case adjourned to May 15, 2017 for continuation of hearing.
The former Minister of Aviation, Fani-Kayode; former Minister of Finance, Nenadi Usman; one Danjuma Yusuf and a company, Joint Trust Dimensions Nigeria Limited, were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in June 2016 for alleged N4.9bn fraud.
They had all pleaded not guilty to the 17 counts charge levelled against them by the EFCC before Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
Although trial had commenced in the matter with the testimony of a first prosecution witness, but there was a twist when the defence lawyers declined to cross-examine the witness.
Among other things, they challenged the morality of Justice Hassan to continue to preside over the matter, after having worked with the EFCC as a senior legal officer and a prosecuting counsel before his appointment as a judge.
In his ruling, Justice Hassan held that though no proof of bias was exhibited as evidence before the court, he would in the interest of justice refuse to take part in further proceedings on the matter.
He then ordered the return of the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court for reassignment to another judge.