EFCC defeats Oyo ex-departvernor Alao-Akala, 2 others over alleged N11.5bn fraud in court
– The Oyo state high court throws out an application by Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala
– The ruling was given by Justice ML Owolabi in an alleged N11.5 billion fraud case
– The case is adjourned to June 29 and July 3, 2018, for trial
Justice ML Owolabi of the Oyo state high court 15 sitting in Iyaganku, Ibadan on Monday, June 4, reportedly refused and dismissed an application for stay of proceedings pending the outcome of an appeal at the Supreme Court.
The appeal at the apex court was filed by a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, and the chief executive officer of Pentagon Consults, Olufemi Ademola Babalola.
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in a statement, said a ruling by Justice Owolabi said: “Stay of proceedings will do more damage to the case which has been pending since 2011 and ordered the prosecution to assemble all its witnesses at the next date.”
The statement said Alao-Akala alongside the former commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Hon Hosea Ayoola Agboola and Olufemi Ademola Babalola, are standing trial on offences bordering on alleged criminal conspiracy and fraudulent practices to the tune of N11.5 billion.
“They were earlier arraigned on an 11-counts charge and they all pleaded not guilty to each count of charge preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the statement added.
After arraignment, the statement said their trial was stalled following their applications to stay further proceedings/trial pending the determination of their appeals at the Supreme Court by counsel to the first and third defendants, AO Afolabi (SAN) and A Ogunwole (SAN) respectively filed on April 9, 2018.
Their motions were however opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Ben Ubi relying on his written submissions on points of law.
He urged the court to refuse the applications and rather order for accelerated hearing of the case in accordance with the spirit and intendment of the administration of criminal justice law of Oyo state, 2016 and section 19(2)(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(establishment) act, 2004.