October 3, 2014

EFCC appeals Ikuforiji’s acquittal


Adeyemi Ikuforiji

By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has appealed last week’s acquittal of Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Adeyemi Ikuforiji alongside his Personal Assistant, Mr Oyebode Atoyebi by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

The trial judge at the lower court, Justice Ibrahim in his judgment, upheld the no case submission of Ikuforiji and his aide, Atoyebi.
It will be recalled that Justice Buba had discharged Ikuforiji and Atoyebi over allegations of money laundering made against them by the anti-graft agency.

But not satisfied with the ruling, the EFCC through its lawyer, Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, in the Notice of Appeal dated September 30, 2014 and  brought pursuant to Order 17 Rule 13 wants the Court of Appeal to hold that Justice Buba erred in law, when he held and concluded that counts 2-48 are incompetent, because they were filed pursuant to Section 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 which said law was repealed by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

The anti-graft agency in its appeal also want the upper court to hold that the Federal High Court, “Erred in law and came to a perverse decision when it held thus: On other constitutional issues, the prosecution has also not answered the submission referred to in this ruling. Consequently, the first and second accused be and are hereby discharged.

“The lower court erred in law, when it held that the provision of Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and 2011 only applies to natural persons and corporate bodies other than government; like the office of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.”