Metro & Crime

Alleged Fraud: Judge’s absence stalls Fayose’s trial

 

 

The money laundering trial of a former Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, was on Monday, stalled before a Federal High Court Lagos as the trial court did not sit.

The trial which was fixed for continuation on Monday, could not proceed as the trial judge Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke was said to be attending a conference.

A new date will now be agreed on by the parties in due course

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for  N6.9billion fraud and money laundering charges.

He was first arraigned on Oct. 22. 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

The defendant, was however, subsequently, re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Justice Olatoregun, following EFCC’s petition.

He had also pleaded not guilty to the charges and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted, while the case was adjourned for trial.

The commission has since opened its case before Justice Aneke, and is still leading witnesses in evidence.

In December 2021 EFCC had called its 11th witness, one Mrs Joanne Tolulope, who had narrated how Abiodun Agbele, an associate of Fayose, bought properties worth several millions.

Trial will now continue on the next adjourned date.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that during trial before Justice Olatoregun. the prosecution had called witnesses, from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

 

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