EFCC re-arraigns ex-Lagos Speaker, Ikuforiji, over money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, alongside his then aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, for alleged money laundering.

Ikuforiji and Atoyebi’s re-arraignment before Justice Mohammed Liman at the Federal High in Lagos came five years after they were discharged of the offence by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the same court in 2014.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge sequence upon, which the prosecution counsel, Mr Ekele Iheanacho, applied for their remand in prison custody.

However, Ikuforiji’s lawyer, Mr Dele Adesina (SAN), opposed the application by urging the court not to accede to the prosecution’s request.

Justice Liman allowed them to continue on the bail earlier granted them by Justice Buba.

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However, the judge ordered that their sureties must re-present themselves within 14 days.

He adjourned till February 5, 2020, for the commencement of trial.

Ikuforiji and Atoyebi were re-arraigned on amended 54 counts bordering on alleged diversion and laundering of N600m belonging to the Lagos State House of Assembly.

In September 2014, following a no-case submission by their lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Justice Buba had discharged Ikuforiji and Atoyebi of the entire 56 counts filed against them by the EFCC.

Not pleased with Justice Buba’s decision, the EFCC had gone on to appeal the ruling, resulting in the overturning of Justice Buba’s verdict in November 2016.

The appellate court ordered that the case file be returned to the Federal High Court for the defendants to be tried afresh before another judge.

Dissatisfied with the Court of Appeal’s decision, Ikuforiji and Atoyebi proceeded to the Supreme Court but lost as the apex court affirmed the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal and sent them back for retrial at the high court.

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