The suit against 23 officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over alleged bribery, yesterday, suffered a setback as the Prosecution could not open its case.
Justice Hilary Oshomah had adjourned the matter to October 12 and 13 this year for the Prosecution to open its case and for the hearing of pending applications. But at the resumed date yesterday, the defence counsels prayed the court for an adjournment.
In his submission, counsel to the 1st to 20th defendants, Mr Wale Balogun, stated that his clients have been able to meet their bail conditions as at Tuesday, October 10, but that the court Registrar was yet to verify the sureties.
According to Balogun, he has not been able to adequately interact with his clients as he has not been provided with the necessary facilities due to the inability of his clients to secure their release from prison custody.
Balogun, who prayed the court to adjourn the matter pursuant to sections 35 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution (amended), said it is a mandatory requirement for defendants to adequately prepare for their defence. He, therefore, prayed the court to adjourn the matter to such a time when the defendants can be ready to take their defence.
Also, counsel to the 21st and 23rd defendants, Mr U. O. Okairo, supported the application for adjournment informing the court that his clients had fulfilled their bail conditions as at last week Thursday.