N673M Fraud: Judge Adjourns Case Against Ex-Speaker Till September

N673M Fraud: Judge Adjourns Case Against Ex-Speaker Till September

David Ugbabe

The trial of Senator Adeyemi Ikuforiji, a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, has been adjourned by the Federal High Court in Lagos till September 30.

The two politicians had been earlier charged to court over a case of money laundering levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

It was gathered that despite not sitting, the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Liman had communicated the development to the parties involved through the court registrar.

He revealed that a directive had been issued in January by the Federal High Court Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho, requiring judges to leave new trial cases unopened until the process of the Federal High Court judges’ transfer was complete which Justice Liman said he complied with.

It was gathered that the directive stalled all new cases slated for trial at the Federal High Court. The transfer is expected to be completed this month.

However, the counsel to the prosecutor, Ekele Iheanacho, decried the adjournment which according to him was not favourable as the date was beyond the annual court vacation, beginning in July.

Recall that the EFCC has filed a charge against Ikuforiji and Atoyebi who are facing trial for laundering the sum of N673 million belonging to the Lagos State government.

The duo was discharged in 2015 - a decision which was reversed by the Supreme Court, thereby rearraigning them in December.

Therefore, the new charge filed against the duo is a case of 56-counts charges.

Ikuforiji was alleged to have conspired with Atoyebi, between April 2010 and August 2011, to commit a crime, to wit, accepting cash amounting to N673 million from the Assembly without going through a financial institution, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

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