Court fixes new date to resume Fayose trial on money laundering charges

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On Thursday a Federal High Court in Lagos State adjourned until April 26, the trial of Ayodele Fayose, a former Governor of Ekiti, charged with alleged N6.9 billion money laundering.

The ex-Governor is being prosecuted by the EFCC.

On October 22, 2018, Fayose was first arraigned before Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on eleven counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.

The Yoruba politician had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on October 24, 2018, in the sum of N50m with sureties in like sum.

Fayose was later re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from Olatoregun, following the EFCC’s petition.

The defendant had also pleaded not guilty to the charges and he was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted to him while the case was adjourned for trial.

The EFCC has since opened its case and is still leading witnesses in evidence.

However, the case, which was fixed for continuation of the trial today, could not proceed after the absence of justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, the trial judge.

Judges of the court are said to be away on a valedictory court session in honour of a retired brother judge, Justice Saliu Saidu.

The event is said to be held in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Fayose’s trial, which was previously adjourned for a number of dates, will now resume on April 26, 27 and 28, respectively.

According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2bn to fund his governorship election campaign in Ekiti State.

The charge sheet said Fayose should have reasonably known the sum formed part of crime proceeds.

Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of 5 million dollars (about N1.8 billion) from Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, without going through any financial institution.

He was also alleged to have kept hold of the sum of N300 million in his account and was in charge of the aggregate sums of about N622 million.

The defendant was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million, which they also reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.

Besides, Fayose was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja.

Fayose was also alleged to have used the sum of N200m to buy a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji.

The offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.

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