Lagos – An Ikeja High Court on Thursday remanded Deji Abiola in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged N35.5 million fraud.
Deji, second son of late Chief M.K.O Abiola is to remain in EFCC custody pending his arraignment on June 30.
M.K. O Abiola was the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
The younger Abiola was dragged before the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo for alleged stealing and fraudulent conversion.
The EFCC alleged that Abiola collected N35.5 million sometime in 2008 from one Mr Jide Jose, under the pretence of importing printing machines for him from Switzerland.
The anti-corruption agency claimed that he never supplied the said machines to the complainant and had converted the money to his personal use.
At the proceedings, EFCC lawyer, Mr Omeiza Adebola asked the court to compel Abiola to take his plea and be properly arraigned.
Adebola told the court that the matter had been before the court since Sept. 2, 2010, insisting that the charges should be read to the accused person.
Abiola’s lawyer, Mr A.B.Kasumu, however, objected to his arraignment arguing that they were just notified about the process.
Kasumu said the accused, who had been enjoying administrative bail granted him by the EFCC, had come to court on his own volition.
He added that Abiola should be granted sufficient time to consult with his lawyers before taking his plea as guaranteed by the right to fair hearing.
“ We cannot take the plea today because an accused cannot take plea without advice from his counsel”, Kasumu argued.
He also asked the court to grant his client bail or remand him in EFCC custody pending the filing of the bail application to be heard at the next adjournment. (NAN)