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Graft: Court rules on Ladoja’s application March 30

By Innocent Anaba
Trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, adjourned the case for ruling after counsel to parties closed their arguments on the application.

The EFCC had on March 25 last year re-arraigned Ladoja and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi, following the amendment of the earlier charge in which the name of his Commissioner of Finance, Chief Adewale Atanda, earlier charged along with him was removed as he now tops list of prosecution witnesses.

Ladoja, in the application by his counsel, contended that the court had no jurisdiction to adjudicate on the counts as framed.

The former governor further argued that all the allegations against him were vague and did not link him with the commission of any crime to warrant his arraignment and that the charges as framed had not been brought under any written law.

He also contended that the proof of evidence placed before the court by the prosecution had no nexus with the charge and that it did not disclosed any prima facie case against him.

The accused person argued that the EFCC had no power, jurisdiction or authority to prefer or prosecute any charge against him and that the counts as framed ultra vires the powers and jurisdiction of the commission under the enabling Act and under the Acts on which the counts are grounded.

In reply, EFCC’s counsel, argued that a look through the applicant’s reply to the prosecution’s submission showed that the applicant re-argued his case.

The commission contended that the said offence alleged to have been committed by Ladoja amounted to an offence at the time it was committed and that the charges against him were brought under an existing law.

EFCC maintained that the amended charge had supplanted the old charge, as the star witness (Adewale Atanda) was not an accused before the court because the prosecution had withdrawn the charge against him.

The commission had accused Ladoja in the amended charge, of conspiring to convert property and resources derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the properties and resources.


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