The trial of former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, was on Thursday stalled due to the absence in court of his co-accused, Lekan Kasali, on the grounds of ill health.
Both accused persons were arraigned before an Ikeja High Court in Lagos on May 17, 2011, charged with stealing N7.2 billion belonging to the bank.
They are facing a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and stealing before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo.
They had pleaded not guilty.
During Thursday's proceedings, Kasali's counsel, Mr Chris Ameh, informed the court that his client was absent due to an undisclosed ailment.
Ameh said Kasali was hospitalised and apologised for his absence.
He said:" I express regrets for the absence of the second accused who is ill and presently on admission in a hospital.
"Your Lordship will notice that this is the first time he is absent in court since the commencement of this proceedings.
``I have with me a letter from the hospital which explains his ill health and I will most respectfully ask for an adjournment in this matter," Ameh said.
Mr Kemi Pinheiro, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, did not oppose Ameh's application for an adjournment.
Pinheiro said that it was true that Kasali had been consistent in his appearances in court since the matter began.
He said:" I have two witnesses on subpoena from Ecobank and FCMB, as well as the IPO in court.
"I will not ask for a consequential order only because of the consistency of the second accused since the matter began.''
The judge subsequently adjourned the matter to Sept. 18 for continuation of trial. (NAN)