Absence of prosecution witness on Monday altered the trial of Mr Rasheed Ladoja former Governor of Oyo State who was charged before Federal High Court, Lagos for alleged N4.7 billion money laundery
According to report, Mr. Ladoja and Mr Waheed Akanbi a former State Commissioner of Finance were both arraigned on 14th December 2016, and are being prosecuted before the court on an eight-count charge bordering on N4.7 billion money laundering. The defendants are alleged to have conspired, siphoned and laundered N4.7 billion from the coffers of Oyo State.
EFCC is also alleged that the defendants converted the sum of N1.9 billion belonging to the state for personal use by using account of Heritage Apartments Ltd companyto carry out the crime.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
On Monday, 19 March, 2018 at the resume hearing of the case, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Oluwafemi Olabisi, apologised that he could not proceed with prosecution because of the absence of a director in the service of Oyo State Government who he claimed was his witness. According to Olabisi, his said witness was attending a meeting with the World Bank in Lagos but had pleaded to be in court on Tuesday.
Therefore, he urged the court that the case be until March 20 and March 21 as the dates were already set down for the continuation of the trial. Counsel to the first and second defendants, did not object the request for an adjournment, but urged the prosecuting counsel to ensure that his witnesses were in court on the agreed dates.
Thereafter, the Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned the case to the agreed date for the continuation of trial
EFCC accused Mr. Ladoja of removing 600,000 pounds from the state coffers in 2007 which he allegedly sent to Bimpe Ladoja, his daughter, residing at London.
In addition, Mr. Ladoja was also accused of converting a sum of N42 million belonging to the state to his personal use and subsequently used same to purchase an armored Land Cruiser jeep.
Also in 2017, Mr. Ladoja also allegedly converted N728 million and N77 million in different cases to his personal use and transferred the money to Bistrum Investments to purchase a property in Ibadan on his behalf.
According to the EFCC, the offences contravened Sections 14, 16, 17 (a) and 18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004. (NAN)