The Federal High Court (FHC), Lagos, yesterday, adjourned till September 30, the alleged N673 million laundering’ trial of a former Speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi.
Though, the court did not sit, but the presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Liman, communicated the date to the prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the defendants, through his registrar.
The judge said he fixed the date in compliance with a directive from the FHC Chief Judge, Justice John Tsoho.
However, the CJ’s directive, issued in January, requires judges not to open new trials until the ongoing process of FHC judges’ transfer is completed. The transfer is expected to be completed this month.
Also, Section 396(3)(4) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, requires that upon arraignment of a defendant, trial shall be from day to day or where it is not practicable, it should not exceed two weeks.
Ikuforiji and Atoyebi are facing N673 million laundering charges filed against them by the EFCC. The commission said the money belongs to the Lagos State Government.
The court had earlier discharged both men of the same allegations in 2015 on the ground that they had no case to answer.
But the lower court’s decision was reversed by both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, following which Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were last December 11 re-arraigned by the EFCC before Justice Liman.
In the new charge dated June 4, 2013, the EFCC filed 56-counts against the former speaker and his aide.
The charge alleges that Ikuforiji and Atoyebi between April 2010 and August 2011 conspired to commit an illegal act, to wit, accepting various cash payments amounting to the sum of N673 million from the Lagos State House of Assembly without going through a financial institution, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Act 2011.