Absence of Witness Stalls the 6.9billion Alleged Fraud Case
The Federal High Court in Lagos adjourned the continuation of the trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose until October 19 and 20, 2020. Fayose who has been facing charges of fraud and money laundering since 2018 was being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N6.9billion fraud and money laundering.
Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the prosecution Counsel, who was expected to call his eighth witness, told the trial judge, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, that there were difficulties bringing the witness to court.
He consequently, prayed for an adjournment. Following the request by the prosecutor, Justice Aneke adjourned the matter until Oct. 19 and 20 for the continuation of trial.
It can be recalled that Ayodele Fayose was prosecuted before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun on Oct. 22. 2018, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences. He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.
Afterwards, he was re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Justice Olatoregun, following EFCC’s petition. He had also pleaded not guilty to the charges and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted, while the case was adjourned for trial.
The commission has since opened its case before Justice Aneke and is still leading witnesses in evidence.
During the trial before Olatoregun, the prosecution had called witnesses from several commercial banks, as well as Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, the former Minister of State for Defence.
According to the charge on June 17, 2014, Fayose and Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding Fayose’s gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti. He was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, without going through any financial institution. He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million.
Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million. He was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million. The defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja. He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of Moji Oladeji, his elder sister The offences, the prosecution said, contravened the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2) (b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
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