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Alleged Money Laundering: EFCC Resumes Trial Of Former Lagos Speaker Ikuforiji, Aide

EFCC on Wednesday continued 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 ₦338.8 million at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Ekene Iheanacho, the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 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 the 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 Ikuforiji 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.

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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 ₦338 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.

BizWatch Nigeria recalls that Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos on September 26th, 2020 discharged the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on over failure establish prima facie case of fraud.

On December 11, 2019, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his aide Oyebode Atoyebi appeared before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged ₦338.8 million money laundering charges. EFCC had appealed a Notice of Appeal challenging the decision of the trial court that dismissed the case.

 

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Aina Adepeju is a Mass Communication graduate. She loves photography, she is a Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON). Adepeju can be reached via [email protected]

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