Friday, October 23, 2020

Nigeria: EFCC to re-arraign ex-FCT minister, others, over alleged N650m fraud

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Akinjide and the others will appear before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court in Lagos.

She was first arraigned on Jan. 16, 2018, before Justice Sule Hassan alongside two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ayo Adeseun and Olarenwaju Otiti, on an amended 24-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering.

They, however, pleaded not guilty and were granted bail.

The trial began before Hassan, with witnesses testifying, but midway, the case was transferred to Aneke.

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When the case came up on Friday before Aneke, the defendants mounted the dock.

Messrs Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), O.F.A Adeosun and Akinola Oladeji appeared for the first, second and third defendants, respectively, while Mr U.U. Buhari announced appearance for the prosecution.

Ayorinde prayed the court to give another date for the re-arraignment, saying that lead prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, and himself were to appear in another trial before another judge.

He told the court that Oyedepo would want to be present during the arraignment.

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His application was not opposed by other counsel.

The court consequently adjourned the case until June 11, for re-arraignment.

According to the EFCC, the defendants received money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in the build-up to the 2015 General Elections.

The money was said to form part of a total sum of 115 million dollars allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential Election.

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