Fayose’s trial stalled due to absence of witness

The Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, on Tuesday, adjourned till October 19 and 20, the ongoing N2.2 billion fraud trial of a former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, due to the inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to produce its witness.

The former governor and a firm, Spotless Investment Limited, were first arraigned on October 22, 2018 for alleged criminal breach of trust, theft and money laundering.

He also was accused of receiving $5 million from a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro.

The commission said the offence contravened sections 15(1), 16(d) and 18(c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

Mr Fayose was granted bail on October 24, 2018 after pleading not guilty.

The EFCC had on Monday called on its seventh witness, Adedamola Otunyalo, who was the head of the Cash in Transit Services of the now-defunct Diamond Bank, in the alleged criminal trial.

He told the court that N1.2 billion was transferred to Mr Obanikoro.

“On 16 June 2014, I got instruction from my director, Mr Premier Oiwoh, to make payment of N1.2 billion to some beneficiaries listed on a document.”

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, who applied for the adjournment, told the trial judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, that the commission was having difficulties in producing its eight witness to the court due to the “happenings” at the commission.

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Mr Aneke granted the adjournment for the continuation of the trial.

In the past few months, allegations of corruption had rocked the anti-corruption agency, EFCC, involving its suspended acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

President Muhammadu Buhari in July approved the suspension of Mr Magu, who is currently being investigated by a panel headed by a former president of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami over allegations of graft and insubordination levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.

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Mr Magu has repeatedly denied the allegations.


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