- A Federal High Court in Lagos has reserved its judgment on the criminal case against a former governor of Oyo state, Rashidi Ladoja
- The former governor and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi, had been in and out of over N4.7 billion fraud case
- Giving his judgement, Justice Idris commended the counsels and postponed his judgement, promising that notice will be sent to the parties involved in the case
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, January 21, reserved judgment in the criminal case against a former governor of Oyo state, Rashidi Ladoja, and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi, charged with N4.7 billion fraud.
Justice Mohammed Idris reserved his judgment after counsel representing parties had adopted their final addresses before the court, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that Ladoja was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with converting N4.7 billion from the state’s treasury to his personal use.
He was re-arraigned along with Akanbi, his former Commissioner for Finance on 11 counts charge of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds.
They had pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were granted bails. The evidences in the trial closed on November 17, after Ladoja had given his evidence before the court.
The court had then adjourned for adoption of final addresses. Adopting his address on Monday, the prosecutor, Oluwafemi Olabisi urged the court to hold that the prosecution had been able to establish its case against the accused based on evidences adduced.
He argued that the crux of the prosecution’s case centred on money received as proceeds of crime.
According to him, offences of this nature do not give room for acknowledgment of monies taken from government coffers.
He added that the court was enjoined to look at circumstantial evidences in arriving at its decision.
Olabisi urged the court to discountenance evidences adduced by defence witnesses, and hold that the prosecution had been able to establish its case against the accused.
On his part, defense counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused on the grounds that the prosecution had a weak case incapable of securing any conviction.
Olumide-Fusika argued that no prosecution witness was able to link the accused with the alleged offences, adding that the prosecution was only concerned with securing conviction at all cost.
Besides, defense argued that the statement used by the prosecutor in his written address that “the second defendant in the very least, did conspire to commit the offence” was incapable of establishing his guilt.
He urged the court to be sensitive to evidences adduced as PW2 who testified as having engaged in the sale of the Oyo State shares was never charged.
In all, he urged the court to discharge and acquit the accused as there was no shred of evidences against them, adding that the evidences by prosecution witnesses, even supports the innocence of the accused.
After listening to the submissions of counsel, Justice Idris commended them for seeing the trial to conclusion. He informed parties that his judgment would be reserved, and that hearing notices would be sent to counsel in a short while.
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After the close of prosecution’s case, the accused had opted to file a no case submission before the court, contending that the prosecution failed to establish a case against them.
But in its ruling, the court had dismissed the no case submission, and held that based on a preponderance of evidences as put forward by prosecution, there was no doubt that the accused had some explanations to make.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Rashidi Ladoja had testified in his own defence before the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday, November 27, over an alleged N4.7billion fraud.
Ladoja, who was being prosecuted alongside a former Oyo state commissioner for finance, Waheed Akanbi, since 2007, was accused of diverting N4.7bn out of the funds realised from the sales of Oyo state shares in some banks.
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