The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at the Federal High Court in Abuja, re-arraigned a former military assistant to Sambo Dasuki, Nicholas Ashinze, along with six others over alleged money laundering charges, three months after another judge opted out of the trial.
They were re-arraigned on 13 count charges before Justice Babatunde Quadiri about three months ago after another judge of the court, Gabriel Kolowale, withdrew from the case due to what he said was lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the EFCC.
However, at the re-arraignment, the seven defendants denied the charges brought against them by EFCC on behalf of the federal government. They were, however, allowed to go home on the bail conditions earlier granted them before Justice Kolawale.
Justice Quadiri after the rearrangement adjourned the definite hearing in the matter till October 4.
Earlier the seven defendants had pleaded with the judge to grant them an accelerated trial to enable them establish their innocence in the charges against them. But the judge, however, told them to wait till October before the issue of the speedy trial can be entertained.
It may be recalled that the seven defendants had two years ago been brought before the court on the same charges, but the trial judge, Mr Kolawale opted out of the trial due to the misconduct in the prosecution team and returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the Court for reassignment to another judge.