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Alleged N673m money Laundering: EFCC re-arraigns ex-Lagos Speaker

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A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, yesterday, adjourned the trial of a former Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, who are facing a N673 million laundering, till September 30.

Justice Mohammed Liman, who didn’t sit, gave the date to both the prosecution and the defendants.

The judge said he fixed the date in compliance with a directive from the Federal High Court Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho. The CJ’s directive, which was issued in January, requires judges not to open new trials until the ongoing process of FHC judges’ transfer is complete.

The transfer is expected to be completed this month.

ection 396 (3) (4) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, requires that upon arraignment of a defendant, the trial shall be from day to day or where it is not practicable it should not exceed two weeks.

Following the Registrar’s announcement, the EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, expressed displeasure, noting that the date was beyond the annual court vacation which begins in July.

Ikuforiji and Atoyebi are facing N673 million laundering charges filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The commission said that the money laundered belongs to the Lagos State Government. The Federal High Court had discharged both defendants of the same allegations in 2015 on the ground that they had no case to answer.
But the lower court’s decision was reversed by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, following which Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were last December 11 re-arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Liman.
In the new charge dated June 4, 2013, the EFCC filed 56-counts against the former speaker and his aide.
The charge alleged that Ikuforiji and Atoyebi between April 2010 and August 2011 conspired to commit an illegal act, to wit, accepting various cash payments amounting to the sum of N673 million from the Lagos State House of Assembly without going through a financial institution, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Act 2011.

Source: Vanguard

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