Alleged N11.5bn fraud: Absence of EFCC witnesses stalls Alao-Akala’s trial

Alao Akala

The trial of a former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two others for alleged N11.5 billion fraud was yesterday stalled, due to the absence of the prosecution witness. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Alao-Akala, Hosea Agboola, a former Commissioner for Local Governments, under the administration and Femi Babalola, a businessman.

It would be recalled that Justice Olalekan Owolabi of the Oyo State High Court had on January 16, issued witness summons on an official of the EFCC, Mr Muhammed Goji and six others. Others summoned by the court are officials from the Oyo State Ministry of Finance, Mr Olutoyin Akanmu, Mrs Florence Oyebanji and Mr Adebayo Bankole, Mr Ademola Ojo of 4 Bodija area. Also summoned were Mr Thomas Oladokun from Oyo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and the Director, Federal Ministry of Works in-charge of Oyo and Osun State.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Friday, EFCC’s Counsel, Dr Benedict Ubi, told the court that he was only able to serve three out of the seven witnesses. Ubi said the EFCC official, who was served could not appear because he would be testifying in a Federal High Court, Abuja, in a case between the commission and Faisal Maina, son of former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed.

The counsel said he did not receive any response from the two others who are officials of the Oyo State Ministry of Finance and Local Government and Chieftaincy matters served with the summon. Ubi said all attempts to serve the remaining four prosecution witnesses was fruitless and therefore could not proceed with the hearing of the case and prayed the court for an adjournment.

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