Thursday, 26 November 2020

Retrial Of Former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji Resumes

The re-trial of the former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, on allegations of laundering N338.8 million continued on Wednesday at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ekene Iheanacho, continued with the testimony of the first prosecution witness, Adebayo Adeniyi, who is an investigative officer with the agency.

Adeniyi told the court that some cash account registers of some banks which had been admitted in exhibit were recovered from the Lagos State House of Assembly.

According to him, they showed that the second defendant, Atoyebi, collected money several times, above the financial threshold allowed by the Money Laundering Act.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Dele Adesina, the witness told the court that the former speaker did not collect the cash directly from the Treasury Department of the House, but had admitted during an investigation that all the money collected by Oyebode was done on his behalf and with his approval.

At the instance of the defence counsel, Justice Mohammed Liman adjourned until December 9, for the continuation of the cross-examination.

The retrial of the former speaker and his aide commenced on September 30 and they both pleaded not guilty to the allegations of laundering about N338 million.

Justice Mohammed Liman then allowed both men to continue on an earlier bail granted to them in 2012 when they were first arraigned.

The defendants were first arraigned on March 1, 2012, before Justice Okechukwu Okeke on 20 charges bordering on misappropriation and money laundering.

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