Alao-Akala’s N11.5bn fraud case stalled again

Former governor of Oyo state with his counsel, Mamman Osuman, at the state High Court in Ibadan over his EFCC case on Wednesday. Photo: NAN

The former Oyo Governor and a serving senator are accused of defrauding the state.

The trial of the former Governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, was on Wednesday stalled again following the failure of the court to re-assign the case to another judge.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had arraigned Alao-Akala; a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and incumbent senator, Hosea Agboola; and a businessman, Femi Babalola, over alleged misappropriation of N11.5 billion.

At the last sitting of the court on February 11, Justice Akintunde Boade had adjourned further hearing in the case till Wednesday.

Mr. Boade had informed counsel in the case that he would be retiring on February 21, adding that there was need to re-assign the case to another judge.

The counsel to the defendants, Mamman Osman, said he expected the state’s Chief Judge to have re-assigned the case.

“At the last seating on February 11, we informed the court that we had filed an appeal against the ruling of the trial court, but the judge has now retired.

“The Chief Judge is supposed to have re-assigned the matter to another judge, but this has not been done.

“The case was fixed for mention today and we came to court. As you can see, the accused persons are all here. We are also here as counsel, but we don’t know where to go to.

“We went to the Chief Registrar and informed her about our predicament, but she said that since we had filed an appeal, the court will await the outcome of the appeal.

“I declined and said that was not enough,” he said.

Mr. Osman said he told the chief registrar that the defence was going to write an official letter expressing its predicament.

“This is to enable the accused persons, who are already on bail, to enjoy their bail without being harassed,” he said.

All efforts to get the reaction of the Chief Registrar were, however, not successful.

Justice Boade had ruled on December 12, 2012 that Messrs Alao-Akala, Agboola and Babalola had a case to answer.

The trio had filed a motion to quash the charges.

(NAN)


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