THE trial of Bulawayo-based Nigerian businessperson and church leader, Oma Alphonsus Achinulo, accused of stealing $70 000 from his Zimbabwean business partner, failed to take off last week, as the prosecutor was off duty.
BY SILAS NKALA
Previously, the trial had stalled again, as regional magistrate, Joseph Mabeza recused himself from presiding over the matter, after Achinulo accused both the magistrate and prosecutor Johannes Tlou of bias.
The matter is now set to be heard by a Gwanda provincial magistrate on January 20.
The Nigerian, who is director of Enfund Trading Company, is alleged to have stolen $70 533,34 from his business partner Nicholas Masuku.
The State alleges that on October 20 2010, Masuku, a managing director of N and S Properties, agreed with Umzingwane Rural District Council to service and develop residential stands at Feinspruit Township.
Masuku then partnered with Achinulo’s company, which was to provide an earthmover and an excavator for the project.
Achinulo, who then was appointed finance director of N and S Property, however, allegedly breached their deed of partnership, after he only provided an earthmover when the project started.
They later ran out of resources and Masuku approached the council asking for permission to sell 43 stands to raise money to buy water reticulation pipes and materials to complete the project.
The State alleges that between May 2011 and February 2012, Achinulo received a total of $70 533,34 and diverted the funds to his personal use. He allegedly refused to show Masuku the financial records.
But Achinulo said all the money was channelled towards the project and accused Masuku of fabricating the charges.
The Nigerian is being represented by lawyer Lison Ncube.