Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:46 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
The absence of the former Speaker of the Lagos State house of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his aide Oyebode Alade Atoyebi, stalled their arraignment today before a Federal High Court in Lagos,south west Nigeria.
When the matter was mentioned, Barrister Tunde Akinrimisi appeared for the former speaker and his aide who were not present in court,he told the court that the defendants have not been served but he received a hearing notice as one of the counsels who represented the defendants during the initial trial and it is out of utmost respect for the court that he came to court today.
Consequently, he urged the court to grant him adjournment for him to get in touch with the defendants
However, in his response, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) prosecutor, Barrister Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that he would grudgingly concede to adjournment because the case had suffered series of adjournments at the instance of the defendants. In addition, the charge was served on the defendants when the trial started some years ago.
Thereafter the presiding Judge Mohammed Liman adjourned till 11th of December,2019, for the defendants to be arraigned
EFCC was supposed to re – arraign the former speaker of Lagos state house Assembly Adeyemi Sabit Ikuforiji and his aide Oyebode Alade Atoyebi before Justice Mohammed Liman today for his money laundering case to start afresh
The former speaker and his aide were discharged and acquitted by a Federal High Court in Lagos of 54 counts amended charge of laundering N673 million
However when the case was pursued to the appeal court and eventually Supreme Court on appeal by the EFCC, the Apex court ordered for a retrial by the Federal High Court and directed that the case file be re- assigned to another judge for a retrial.
In the amended charge filed before the Federal High Court , it was alleged that Ikuforiji and Atoyebi between April 2010 and August 2011 conspired together 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 he committed an offence contrary to sections 18a of the Money Laundering Act 2011