The trial of Mr. Nse Ekpenyong, member representing Oron federal constituency of Akwa Ibom state, in the House of Representatives, was Friday June 9, 2017, stalled at the Federal High Court Uyo, by the absence of the EFCC lawyers prosecuting the case.
When the matter was called up for trial at the court one room, presided over by Hon. Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, the defence team led by Mr. Emmanuel Isongedighe acknowledged the receipt of the letter for adjournment sent in by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Ahmed Arogha intimating the court of is absence occasioned by his appearance in another court.
Even though the trial judge observed that the reason for the prosecution counsel’s absence was not tenable because the court where he was billed to appear is a court of concurrent jurisdiction and that the Nse Ekpenyong’s case came up first and adjourned before the case the EFCC counsel was attending.
However, the court went on to adjourn the matter to June 15, 2017 for the continuation of trial.
Speculations were rife that the EFCC was going to arraign the alleged accomplice of Mr. Ekpenyong in the School Certificate forgery scandal. The alleged accomplice our reporter learnt, was the mercenary who sat for the WAEC examination that Mr. Ekpenyong filed with the Independent National Election Commission, in the 2015 general election as his.
It was equally speculated that the prosecution was considering bringing in fresh charges against Mr. Ekpenyong.
Mr. Ekpenyong is currently facing nine count charges, later amended by including an additional charge, bothering on forgery of an Abia state Polytechnic National Diploma in Business Administration and that of WAEC certificate that he did not write. Ekpenyong had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The prosecution has already opened the trial and taken some of their witnesses before the matter was adjourned to June 9, 2017 for the continuation of trial.