The EFCC says Adeyemi Ikuforiji collected large sums of money in cash.
The Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday adjourned the trial of Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly to January 7th, 8th, and 10th, 2014.
Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned to enable the prosecution catalogue the relevant aspects of the cash register it was using to examine its first witness.
The trial was abruptly halted and adjourned, two weeks ago, after the temperature in the tiny court room rose to ‘unbearable’ levels.
Mr . Ikuforiji and Oyebode Atoyebi, his Personal Assistant, are facing a 54 count amended charge of money laundering of over N600 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said the Speaker and his aide received the money from the Lagos State House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution.
Monday’s trial began with Adeniyi Adebayo, the EFCC witness, continuing his testimony on how the accused persons received monies running into millions of naira without using a bank.
The witness stated that Mr. Atoyebi admitted he received millions of naira in cash from the Accounts Department of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Monies were collected for the Speaker’s office running expenses, members’ travelling allowances, estacodes, Speakers’ residence allowances, Speakers’ guest house allowances, among others.
Most of the money was collected in cash, according to the EFCC.
The EFCC witness said on August 23, 2011, Mr. Atoyebi collected N6,464,976 meant for the Powell Foundation event on behalf of the Speaker. One week later, he collected N1,308,231 for Mr. Ikuforiji wife. On August 1, 2011, the aide received N4,444,770 for the National Council of State Legislators event on the speaker’s behalf.
Two days later, he collected N10 million for Ramadan, on behalf of Mr. Ikuforiji.
Mr. Adebayo continued to detail, before the court, several other withdrawals by Mr. Atoyebi on behalf of his principal.
However, Tayo Oyetibo, counsel to the Speaker, objected to the prosecution’s lengthy process of detailing the Speaker’s withdrawals.
“It will be neater if they put together all the documents that they have, particularly the areas (in the cash register) they were referring to,” Mr. Oyetibo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said.
“The whole essence is to fast track the process instead of the laborious method of going through the three cash registers,” he added.
Before the judge adjourned, the prosecution agreed to file the relevant aspects of the document to the defence before the next date.
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