The planned arraignment of alleged fraudster, Kayode Philip, alias Voice of the King, and his Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih before the Federal High Court in Lagos was on Monday stalled.
The arraignment could not go on because Koudeih’s lawyer, Abdulamid Mohammed said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to serve him with a copy of the charge sheet in accordance with the law.
The development forced the trial judge, Justice Muslim Hassan to res rescheduled the arraignment of the duo to Thursday, November 28.
Philip and Koudeih are facing 24 counts filed against them by the EFCC.
When the case came up for hearing on Monday, Mohammed, who claimed that he was based in Abuja, told the court that he was only told on Sunday that the matter would be coming up in Lagos on Monday and he had to rush down.
The lawyer said on getting to court on Monday morning, his client told him that the EFCC served the charge sheet on him on Friday and he gave it to his wife who took it home.
He therefore urged Justice Hassan to adjourn the case to enable him to study the charge sheet and prepare for his client’s defence.
Mohammed cited Section 36 of the constitution, which provided that an accused must be given adequate time and facility to prepare for his defence.
However, the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the prayer for an adjournment.
Following arguments between the lawyers, Justice Hassan, in a short ruling, said he would like to exercise caution and adjourn the case for Koudeih’s lawyer to study the 24 counts and the three volumes of proof of evidence filed by the EFCC against the defendant.
He adjourned till Thursday, November 28 for arraignment.
In the first count, the EFCC alleged that Philip and Koudeih conspired to convert aggregate sums of $7.06m and €80,000, “which sums you reasonably ought to have known form part of proceeds of fraud.”
The anti-graft agency insisted that the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(a) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and were liable to be punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
The Commission had on October 26 arrested Koudeih in his multi-million dollar Victoria Island luxury apartment in Lagos.