Trial of ex-FCT Minister Akinjide, others, to resume October 11
A Federal High Court in Lagos, Monday, further adjourned until October 11, the trial of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, and others, facing money laundering charges in the sum of N650 million.
The defendants were re-arraigned on June 27, before Justice Chukeujekwu Aneke, alongside two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chieftains, Ayo Adeseun and Olanrewaju Otiti, on an amended 24-count.
The charge was preferred by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They were first arraigned before Justice Sule Hassan, on Jan. 16, 2018, and had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bail.
The trial had commenced before Hassan, with witnesses being led in evidence, but midway into trial, the case was transferred to Justice Aneke.
They were consequently rearraigned before Aneke, and granted bail.
On Monday, trial of the defendants could not proceed before Aneke, following the absence of a prosecution witness.
When the case was called, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo announced appearance for the prosecution.
On the other hand, Messrs Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Micheal Lana and Akinola Oladeji respectively announced appearances for the first, second and defendants.
Oyedepo then informed the court that there were applications filed in the suit, to which prosecution had yet to respond, adding that this also constrained the assemblage of his witness in court.
He, therefore, urged the court to grant an adjournment by which time, he will be able to respond to the applications and proceed.
This request for adjournment was not opposed by defence counsel who had earlier told the court that they were prepared for trial.
Third defence counsel, meanwhile, urged the court to note that the adjournment was at the instance of the prosecution.
Following the agreement of parties, Justice Aneke adjourned the case until October 11 for trial.
According to the charge, the defendants were alleged to have received monies from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
The money was said to have formed part of a total sum of 115 million dollars, allegedly disbursed by Alison-Madueke, to influence the outcome of the 2015 presidential election.