N4.7b Corruption Charge: Ladoja’s Trial Resumes Today

 N4.7b Corruption Charge: Ladoja’s Trial Resumes Today

The absence of a prosecution witness yesterday stalled the trial of former Oyo State Governor Rashidi Ladoja, for alleged N4.7 billion money laundering charge at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Ladoja alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, Waheed Akanbi.

Both men were arraigned on December 14, 2016, before Justice Mohammed Idris on an eight-count charge bordering on N4.7 billion money laundering. They pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.

But at the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Oluwafemi Olabisi, apologised that he could not proceed because of the absence of his witness, a director in the employ of Oyo State government.

Olabisi said the witness was attending a meeting with the World Bank in Lagos but pleaded to be in court today.

He urged the court to adjourn the matter till today and tomorrow as the dates were set down for the continuation of the trial.

Mr Bolaji Onilenla and Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, counsel to the first and second defendants, did not object to the request for an adjournment.

But the lawyer urged the prosecuting counsel to ensure that his witnesses were in court on the agreed dates.

Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the matter till March 20 and March 21 for continuation of trial.
The defendants are said to have conspired, siphoned and laundered N4.7 billion from the coffers of Oyo State.

The EFCC is also accusing the defendants of converting N1.9 billion belonging to the state to personal use, through the account of a company — Heritage Apartments Limited — to commit the crime.

Tolani Giwa

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