An Indian business man Patrick Fernandez has got his case reopened again for fraud running into billions, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned Fernandez, at the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly perpetrating a banking fraud involving N32 billion. He alongside three of his companies, are facing a 56-count of fraud and he pleaded not guilty on all counts.
He was re-arraigned because the judge handling the case, Justice John Tsoho, was transferred to Abuja. A new judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun-Ishola, who was transferred from Asaba to Lagos, took over the case, to start afresh before her. She will be the third to handle the case, which began eight years ago. Fernandez was first arraigned before Justice A. R. Mohammed in 2008. But following his transfer, the case was re-assigned to Justice Tsoho.
One witness testified before Justice Mohammed; three testified before Justice Tsoho.
Justice Olatoregun-Ishola vowed to ensure the case is not further delayed. “Counsel should not come and tell me that he has not had breakfast, therefore the matter should not go on,” she warned.