An Ikeja High Court, Lagos, has freed two brothers-- Fidelis and Noel Anosike-- of the charge of stealing N1.7 billion belonging to the Daily Times Nigeria Ltd.
Justice Habeeb Abiru on Monday dismissed the case against the brothers, who are directors of Folio Communications Ltd.
The brothers were charged to court for allegedly selling the property of the defunct Daily Times worth N1.7 billion, after they had purchased the company on March 14, 2007.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, had charged them to court, claiming that they misled the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to acquire the newspaper company.
Adoke had on March 27, transferred the prosecution of the Anosikes to the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
During Monday's proceeding, a counsel from the DPP, Mr L.A. Sanusi, asked the court to adjourn the matter for another two weeks to enable the prosecution to study the case file.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr Babajide Koku (SAN), objected to the request for an adjournment, arguing that the matter was adjourned at the last sitting for a similar reason.
Koku urged the court to strike out the charge against the brothers because the DPP was not ready to prosecute the case.
He said: "It appears that they are not ready to prosecute the case, otherwise, they would not be asking for another adjournment.
"Your lordship gave them one month the other time and that should be enough to study the file.
"When they are ready, they can come back to the court. But for now, we urge your lordship to strike out the case".
In a short ruling, the judge held that Sanusi's excuse for an adjournment was not cogent enough, because the case was a criminal matter.
He said:"If your home is not tidy, why should the people outside be made to suffer?
"It is not the number of times you appear in court that matters but how you use the adjournments.
"I gave you one month the last time and you are asking for more time", the judge said.
Abiru discharged the Anosike brothers and struck out the case.
He, however, noted that the DPP could come back to the court in future, when it was ready to effectively prosecute the case against the accused persons. (NAN)