N4.7bn trial: Ladoja’s trial to continue Today


Rashidi Ladoja
The absence of the EFCC’s witness stalled proceedings on Monday in the trial of a former governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, who is being prosecuted for an alleged fraud of N4.7bn.

The court subsequently fixed Tuesday for continuation trial.
The EFCC counsel, Mr. Olabisi Oluwafemi, told Justice Mohammed Idris, of the Federal High Court, Lagos that though the matter was slated for continuation of trial, he was unable to bring his next witness to court.
According to him, the next witness, a director in the Oyo State Government Civil Service, was otherwise busy attending an official assignment.
“He is currently leading the Oyo State team (in a meeting) with the World Bank. The meeting is ongoing in Lagos. That is why he is not here. I will be praying My Lord for an adjournment; the matter is for today, tomorrow and Wednesday.
“He is available in Lagos and he has assured me that he will be available tomorrow,” he said.
The lawyers to the defendant had no objections to the plea but for an adjournment.
The former Governor, Ladoja, is being prosecuted alongside a former Commissioner for Finance in Oyo State, Waheed Akanbi.
They were re-arraigned on December 15, 2016 on eight counts before Justice Idris.
The charges against Ladoja and Akanbi border on money laundering and unlawful conversion of funds belonging to Oyo State Government.
In one of the counts, Ladoja and Akanbi were accused of converting a sum of N1,932,940,032.48 belonging to Oyo State for their personal use.
The EFCC also claimed that they retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds of a criminal conduct.
In another instance, Ladoja was accused of removing a sum of £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sending same to one Bimpe Ladoja, who was at the time in London.
The former governor was also accused of converting a sum of N42m belonging to the state to his own and subsequently used it to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser jeep.
The defendants, have however, pleaded not guilty.
However, Justice Idris, has adjourned the case to Tuesday, March 20.

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