Former FCT minister’s, others’ trial to resume October 11

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will, on June 11, re-arraign a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, and two others charged with N650 million fraud.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday adjourned till October 11 the trial of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, and others, facing money laundering charges for N650 million.

The defendants were re-arraigned on June 27 before Justice Chukeujekwu Aneke alongside two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains, Ayo Adeseun and Olanrewaju Otiti, on an amended 24-count charge filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They were first arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan on January 16, 2018, and had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.

Trial had begun before Justice Hassan with witnesses being led in evidence, but midway into trial, the case was transferred to Justice Aneke.

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They were consequently re-arraigned before Justice Aneke and granted bail.

The trial of the defendants could not proceed yesterday before Justice Aneke, following the absence of a prosecution witness. When the case was called, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo announced appearance for the prosecution.

On the other hand, Messrs Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Micheal Lana and Akinola Oladeji announced appearances for the first, second and defendants.

Oyedepo informed the court that there were applications filed in the suit, to which prosecution had not responded.

The lawyer averred that this also constrained the assemblage of his witness in court.

He urged the court to grant an adjournment by which time he would be able to respond to the applications and proceed.

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The request for adjournment was not opposed by defence counsel, who had told the court that they were prepared for trial.

Third defence counsel urged the court to note that the adjournment was at the instance of prosecution.

Following agreement among the parties, Justice Aneke adjourned the matter till October 11 for trial.

According to the charge, the defendants were alleged to have received some 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 be part of $115 million allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke to influence the outcome of the year’s presidential election.

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