By Bimbo Ogunnaike
The trial of former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, will now resume on October 21 before a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Fayose is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over N6.9billion fraud and money laundering charges.
He was first arraigned on October 22, 2018, before Justice Mojisola Olatotegun, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.
The defendant was subsequently re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on July 2 where he pleaded not guilty to the charges and was allowed to continue on the earlier bail granted.
After his re-arraignment, Justice Aneke had granted leave for the defendant to travel abroad for medicals.
The court had however, ordered that his International passport be returned to the court, on or before September 16.
Aneke had then adjourned the case until Sept. 16, 17, 18, and 19 and also to Oct. 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 for continuation of trial.
Meanwhile, the case will now come up on October 21, as Judges are away for the annual judges conference, which takes place after the annual long vacation of the court.
It was gathered that during the pendency of the charge before Justice Olatoregun, EFCC had opened trial on November 19, 2018, and had so far called 13 witnesses out of the 15 listed.
However, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon.Justice Adamu Abdu-kafarati had transferred the case from Olatoregun, to Aneke, following a petition by the EFCC.
During trial before Olatoregun. the prosecution had called witnesses, from several commercial banks, as well as a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro.
According to the charge, on June 17, 2014, Fayose and one Abiodun Agbele were said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti, which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain the aggregate sums of N851 million which they reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Besides, the defendant was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, which sums he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
He was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.
The offences contravenes the provisions of sections 15(1), 15 (2), 15 (3), 16(2)(b), 16 (d), and 18 (c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.