Alleged N6.9bn Fraud: Court to resume Fayose’s trial Dec 1

October 11, 2021
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A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Monday, further adjourned until December 1, December 2 and December 3 continuation in the trial of former Governor of Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, over alleged N6.9 billion fraud.

The case, which was listed in the cause list for continuation of trial on Monday, was called at about 11.40 am, as parties were awaiting one of the defence counsel.

When the case was eventually called, the Economic and Financial Crims Commission’s (EFCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), informed the court that having waited until almost noon, it will be better to grant an adjournment to enable parties to come back and face the trial.

Although, the first defence counsel, Mr Ola Olanipekun (SAN), had urged prosecution to begin examination of its witness, who was already present in court, the case was however adjourned at the instance of prosecution.

The judge had urged parties to take new dates within the year, especially as no progress had been made in the matter since resumption.

Following an agreement of the parties, the case was consequently adjourned until December 1, December 2 and December 3 respectively for continuation of trial.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the EFCC over N6.9 billion fraud and money laundering charges.

He was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on an 11-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering offence.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

The defendant was subsequently, re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Justice Olatoregun, following EFCC’s petition.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 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 trial before Olatoregun, the prosecution had called witnesses from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion for the purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of $5 million (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Obanikoro, 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, which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.

The offence, the anti-graft agency 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. (NAN)

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