A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Thursday, further adjourned until May 17 for  continuation of trial of embattled former Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti, facing money laundering charges.

The trial, scheduled for continuation on Thursday, was adjourned at the instance of defence.

When the case was called, Mr J.A. Obafemi announced appearance for prosecution while Mr S. Olowolafe appeared for defence. He  held brief for Mr Ola Olanipekun (SAN).

Olowolafe informed the court that the defendant was unavailable in court on health grounds, and prayed for an adjournment.

READ ALSO: Alleged N6.9bn fraud: Fayose’s trial further adjourned until March 3

Following absence of any objection, the court adjourned the case until May 17, 18 and 19 for continuation of trial.

Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N6.9 billion fraud and money laundering.

He was first arraigned on Oct. 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun alongside his company, Spotless Investment Ltd., on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering.

He had pleaded not guilty and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.

The defendant was, however, subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on July 2, 2019, after the case was withdrawn from  Olatoregun following a petition by EFCC.

He had also pleaded not guilty to the charge, and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted.

The commission has since opened its case before  Aneke, and is still leading witnesses in evidence.

In December 2021, EFCC called its 11th witness, one Mrs Joanne Tolulope, who narrated how Abiodun Agbele, said to be an associate of Fayose, allegedly bought property worth millions of Naira crime proceeds.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports  that during trial before Olatoregun, prosecution called witnesses from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.

According to the EFCC, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele illegally took possession of N1.2 billion for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti.

The commission said that the defendants reasonably ought to have known that the sum formed part of crime proceeds.

It alleged that Fayose received cash payment of five million dollars (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.

The commission also said that the former governor unlawfully retained 300 million in his bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million.

The EFCC added that the defendant unlawfully procured De Privateer Ltd. and Still Earth Ltd. to retain aggregate sums of N851 million.

Besides, the ex-governor was alleged to have unlawfully used aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire property in Lagos and Abuja.

He was also alleged to have illegally used N200 million to acquire a property in Abuja with the name of his elder sister, Moji Oladeji.

The alleged offences contravene the provisions of Sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011. (NAN) 

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