The trial of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, over money laundering allegations has suffered a setback.
Adoke and one other, Aliyu Abubakar, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on charges bordering on money laundering.
The duo were charged with 14 amended counts at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo.
In a statement on Monday, the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, explained that the trial could not go on because the former minister was absent in court.
Counsel to the defendant, Kanu Agabi, informed Justice Ekwo that his client could not make it to the court as he was held back in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He revealed that the former minister was on the verge of returning to Nigeria when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was held back in Dubai.
Agabi, however, disclosed that his client had since tested negative for the virus after treatment but could not fly back to the country in time for the hearing.
He pleaded with the court for an extension of the time given to the defendant to take care of himself and be fit for trial.
On his part, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, did not object to the request of the defence lawyer.
In his ruling, Justice Ekwo adjourned proceedings in the trial until March 1 to 4.
At the last adjourned date on December 15, 2020, the court had granted Adoke permission to travel to Dubai on health grounds but was expected to return for the hearing fixed for January 11, 2021.
However, when the case was called, the defendant was absent.