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N8bn CBN scam: Fresh application for plea bargain stalls trial

Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday, adjourned till December 6, hearing on the plea bargain process between Olunike Afolabi and the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in the ongoing N8 billion Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) currency scam case.

Afolabi, Kolawole Babalola, Adeola Olaniran, Philip Togun and Adewale Ademola along with others had since 2015 been standing trial over multiple charges bordering on conspiracy, forgery, stealing and recirculation of N8 billion, property of CBN.

Abdulmaleek adjourned the case to allow Afolabi and the EFCC conclude all the processes involved in the plea bargain arrangement.

She said the adjournment would also allow the charge sheets to be amended to reflect the current realities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that at the resumed trial, counsel to Afolabi, Mr Adewole Olajire, had announced that his client had begun a plea bargain process with the EFCC.

Olajire said that the whole process would be completed within two weeks.

Other defence counsel led by Mr Olayinka Bolanle urged the court to consider the plea bargain application and adjournment in the interest of justice and fair trial.

Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, the prosecuting counsel, who confirmed receipt of the plea bargain application, also urged the court to grant the adjournment .

NAN recalls that one of the six accused persons, Oni Ademola, had earlier been convicted through the plea bargain processed.