We Did Not Investigate Allegation Of Fraud Against Ikuforiji, EFCC Witness Tells Court
A prosecution witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi today told Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos that the commission did not receive any petition on money laundering allegation against former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji .
Adeniyi however, admitted under cross examination from Mr Dele Adesina, SAN, counsel to Ikuforiji that there was a petition bothering on alleged fraud against the former Speaker.
When asked if he did investigate the case of fraud against Ikufoji as alleged in the said petition, Adeniyi said he did not .
When asked if the petition on which the charge is ancord is on money laundering, the witness in his answer, ‘said ‘no’
Meanwhile attempts by the prosecution to bring in one Mr Adewole Taiwo Olatunji , a retired Clerk of the Lagos State House of Assembly as a witness was vehemently opposed by counsel to the defendants, M r Dele Adesina, SAN, on the ground that Mr Olatunji name was not on the list of witnesses on record before the court.
Adesina said the prosecution can not bring somebody from nowhere and asked him to come and give evidence before the court ” the prosecution must do the right thing” he said .
Consequent upon Adesina’s objection to Olatunji given evidence before the court on the matter, the prosecutor, Mr Ekene Iheanachor decided to seek for an adjournment till further date.
Meanwhile, Justice Mohammed Liman has adjourned the matter till February 3, 2021 for continuation of trial.
It would be recalled that the EFCC has arraigned the immediate past Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi on 53 counts of alleged money laundering to the tune of N338. 8 million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They had however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and the trial judge, Justice Liman allowed them to continue on the earlier bail granted to them in 2012, when they were first arraigned.
At the last adjourned date on September 30, the prosecutor, Ekene Ihenacho, had called the first prosecution witness, Adebayo Adeniji, an investigator with the EFCC, who commenced his evidence in the matter.
Both Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were first arraigned on March 1, 2012 before Justice Okechukwu Okeke on 20 counts bordering on misappropriation of public fund and money laundering.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The defendants were, however, subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Buba, following the re-assignment of the case.
Buba also granted them bail in the sum of N500 million each with sureties in like sum.
On September 26, 2014, Justice Buba discharged Ikuforiji and his aide of the charges, after upholding a no – case submission of the defendants.
Buba while ruling on the no-case submission held that the EFCC failed to establish a prima-facie case against them.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC through its counsel, Godwin Obla (SAN), filed a Notice of Appeal dated September 30, 2014 challenging the decision of the trial court.