Alleged N600 million fraud: How Lagos Speaker, Ikuforiji, spent funds on foreign trips, wife, others – EFCC

Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Lagos State Assembly Speaker. [Photo: spyghana.com]
Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Lagos State Assembly Speaker. [Photo: spyghana.com]

On August 1, 2011, N4.4 million was paid to the Speaker as “cost of allowance”; his personal assistant and orderly pocketed N1.2 million and N1.1 million respectively.

The trial of Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, continued Tuesday with the prosecution witness detailing how the defendants allegedly laundered millions of Naira.

Adebayo Adeniyi, the EFCC witness, told the court how the defendants collected N13.5 million for honorarium, N4.5 million for renovation of the Speaker’s residence, and N1.5 million for the Speaker’s Guest House every month for six consecutive months.

Mr. Ikuforiji and Oyebode Atoyebi, his aide, are facing a 54-count amended charge of money laundering amounting to over N600 million.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, accused the Speaker and his aide of receiving the money from the Lagos State House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution.

The trial was adjourned last January for the prosecution to provide a summarized version of the monies collected by Mr. Ikuforiji and his aide.

But on Tuesday, Godwin Obla, counsel to the EFCC, said that he would rather continue with his previous method to avoid any grounds for appeal.

It was a painstaking effort that required Mr. Obla to go through each of the transactions with the witness. The judge admitted that, but overruled the defence’s plea that the prosecution tabulate the relevant sections of the transactions.

“We’ve lost time. We vacated three days for that exercise to be done,” said Ibrahim Buba, the trial judge.

“What I understand the prosecution to be doing is trying to go through the records viz a viz each count of the allegation. They are entitled to do so.

“It is indeed difficult, if not laborious,” Mr. Buba added.

2011 TRANSACTIONS

Mr. Adeniyi continued his testimony by stating how the Lagos House of Assembly paid millions of naira to Mr. Ikuforiji; his wife, Mayowa; his orderly; his personal assistant; as well as the state’s Deputy Speaker.

All the monies were collected by Mr. Atoyebi and paid for in cash, the witness said.

On July 14, 2011, N5.4 million was paid to Mr. Ikuforiji for a trip to San Diego, California; his personal assistant and orderly collected N1.3 million and N1.2 million respectively, according to Mr. Adeniyi.

On August 1, 2011, N4.4 million was paid to the Speaker as “cost of allowance”; his personal assistant and orderly pocketed N1.2 million and N1.1 million respectively. Two days later, N10 million was paid to the Speaker for Ramadan, the witness said.

On August, 2011, N6.4 million was paid to Mayowa Ikuforiji, the Speaker’s wife; and N1.3 million to the wife’s orderly, the witness said.

Between January and June 2011, N13.5 million was paid as honorarium, every month, to the Speaker, Mr. Adeniyi added.

He said N4 million and N1 million were also paid monthly, within the stated period, for the renovation of the Speaker’s official residence and guest house respectively.

Asked why there were columns with Cheque Numbers in the cash register, Mr. Adeniyi responded that: “What they do is that a cheque is raised in most cases in the name of the Permanent Secretary and cashed from the bank.

“It is this cash that is eventually paid and registered in this document, the details of payments.”

2010 TRANSACTIONS

“Basically, these cash payments are supposed to be made through a financial institution, paid to the beneficiaries, not through cash payments. Cash payments stall the tracing of the monies.

“We discovered that some of it was paid into the account of the first accused person. Some of it was used for his credit card and other personal matters,” he added.

During cross examination by Wole Olanipekun, counsel to Mr. Ikuforiji, Mr. Adeniyi said that he was not aware what the Speaker used the monies for.

“Our investigation is not focused on knowing whether he spent the money on his personal house.

“From our investigation, we did not go in depth into who approved the disbursements, we were particular about the cash disbursement which was above the threshold of transactions by a Permanent Secretary.

“Any payment must be made through e-payment, most especially when it is above the threshold,” Mr. Adeniyi said.

When shown one of the cash registers by the defence lawyer, Mr. Adeniyi said that he could not “remember seeing it.”

Mr. Obla objected to that line of questioning, insisting that the defence must tender the cash register as an exhibit before it court be used for cross examination.

The judge, however, said that the defence was at liberty to use any document that had been brought before the court.

“You cannot file a document and your witness said he cannot remember seeing it. If it was filed by the defence, it is a different ball game altogether,” the judge told Mr. Obla.

“Once you have provided this document, it is for them (the defence) to use it at their own time during the trial, not at your own time,” the judge added.

The trial was adjourned till April 28 for continuation of trial.

 


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  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    I do not see why these people should not go to jail.

    The amount of monies being mentioned and disbursed so casually here for the benefit of a couple of people and their families could very well make a difference between educating several Lagosians and reducing the schools fees paid by LASUITES.

    Hopefully, the EFCC would prosecute this case diligently, get convictions and beam their searchlights on other Houses and Institutions in other states, but…aherm, it is a wish.

    • Quadri Abiola Hamed

      The speaker is particularly a vagabond, he hails from Epe but we don’t know any benefit 2 point at from his regime. He can’t win a street on a free n fair election in Epe n dats why he went through Ikeja d last time

  • Afam

    And their internet soldiers have ran out of network services to put down their comment here…Bloody hypocrites…

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Afam,

      What you have written is not an opinion, but a rant.

      I am an APC supporter and would be waiting to see you come up with similar sentiments when a PDP person is indicted for similar reasons.

      We are all witnesses to how the PDP trolls defended Madam Oduah until Oga GEJ could no longer stand the din and shame.

      • Afam

        If you have followed my comments here,you will know i don’t spare anybody but i hate pretenders and hypocrites…while you did not see more comments is because is APC case…let it be another party or PDP ,comments will flood this forum…

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Thanks for that, Afam.

          Stay true.

      • Goodcitizen Lambo

        THEN WHAT IS YOUR POINT? Is it that you are proud of your speaker or what? My point is lets call a spade a spade no matter whose ox is gored. That is how we can move this nation forward. Except we are here to just play politics we should do better than just criticizing PDP and covering APC. Thank you for the info that you are APC member it is noted for future discussions.

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Mr. Lambo,

          That you have unceremoniously jumped into a conversation between myself and Afam, without understanding where we both started the conversation, and yet, hastily jumps into conclusions does not augur well for your reputation.

          All you needed to do is read my first comment and opinion, call it point if you like, then you’d be more circumspect about concluding on a matter before reading the first paragraph.

  • Koko

    This is an APC speaker of Lagos state oh. Where is Lair Mohammed? Corruption Generals, a son of Tinubu.

  • SAM BABALOLA

    Death sentence for all corrupt officers, because they have been infecting the coming generations with this their condemned way of life , corruption is now endemic,and pervasive , in all tribes , all religion, all region all professions , with civil servants been number one on the list , they trained the rest Nigerians, Corruption has bm a daily thing , we see it , we feel it we breath it and eat and drink the bye products of corruption. It is a way of life as demonstrated by Kuforiji, Mayowa his wife his assistants and orderly . They were suppose to serve the people , they have all been stealing the money you ask they to guide . Let the death sentence begins , the n the end of corruption will be near.
    You all see the hands of corruption in the recruitment of immigration , whoever registered the company Abba Moron gave the contract ,must be published. He should refund all monies collected from all applicants. Failure to do so millions of Youths will have to get ready to ask for their money .Abba Moron and his director of immigration must be prosecuted for murder .
    Nigerians should watch senate closely as they are fast becoming an enabling factor, aiding and abetting corruption. In any civilized country the guy you want to investigate must be suspended not to influence your investigation. In a corruption infested Nigeria reverse is the case.

  • emmanuel

    Ibrahim Buba + Wole Olanipekun = sold justice!

    We all know why this case is dancing acrobat in court, Tinubu found an obstacle to Fashola re-election and chop chop channels, so Ikuriji placed a sealing of passing every state expenditure of more than N200 million to the assembly to sign.

    Fashola being a lawyer, saw his first constituency – the judiciary as an avenue to fight back, so he moved and the dance is still on.

    The face of APC is the broom used in attempt to sweep away the enemies and sweep all monies fraudulently into their pockets. How pretenders collect huge sums of monies in cash. Are they sugar and flour sellers from Nirthern Nigeria? Noooo, they are common thieves!

  • kayode Olufade

    These monies are truly excessive. For just being a speaker? So it doesn’t seem like selective justice a holistic investigation should be instituted and all culpable should be brought to book. Corruption is a vice inherent in man despite the political party he/she is in. How the APC will react to this will go a long way to showing Nigerians how true their stand against corruption is

  • Goodcitizen Lambo

    It is impossible this man chop the money alone. He settled his father…….you know who. Lie Mumuhamed has suddenly lost his voice. Corruption is not limited to a political party that is the point. This man is simply greedy. He used 36 million in 6 months to renovate his official residence and guest house as well as 4.5 million for furniture. Na wao.

  • tunde okusanya

    Nigeria is a free state and no 1 especially the like of the eminent Speaker should be ridicule in the public domain, give him a fair hearing and it will surprise you that he has no skeleton in his cupboard.

  • tunde okusanya

    be fair to criticise cos even the Law states that the accused isnt guilty until otherwise proven, the speaker is a fine gentleman who in all honesty should be given fair hearing, imagine the longest case in the Nigerian Law Court for a public servant. Tunde Okusanya