A judge, M. L. Owolabi of the Oyo State High Court 15 in Iyaganku, Ibadan, on Monday dismissed an application for stay of proceedings pending the outcome of an appeal at the Supreme Court. The application was filed by a former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala and the Chief Executive Officer of Pentagon Consults, Olufemi Babalola.
Mr Owolabi, in his ruling, said the stay of proceedings requested for will do more damage to the case which has been pending since 2011. He subsequently ordered the prosecution to ”assemble all its witnesses at the next date”.
The former governor alongside a former commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs, Ayoola Agboola, and Mr Babalola are standing trial for offences bordering on alleged criminal conspiracy and fraudulent mismanagement of about N11.5 billion public funds.
They were earlier arraigned on 11 counts and they all pleaded not guilty to each count preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
However, after arraignment, their trial was stalled following their applications to stay further proceedings/trial pending the determination of their appeals at the Supreme Court.
Their motions were however opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Ben Ubi, relying on his written submissions on points of law. He urged the court to refuse the applications and rather order for accelerated hearing of the case in accordance with the spirit and intention of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Oyo State, 2016 and Section 19(2)(b) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to June 29 and July 3 for trial.