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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Alleged N4.7bn fraud: EFCC closes case against Ladoja

Alleged N4.7bn fraud: EFCC closes case against Ladoja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday closed its case against a former Oyo State Governor Rasheed Ladoja for alleged N4.7 billion fraud at a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Ladoja is standing trial alongside a former Finance Commissioner Waheed Akanbi.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris on December 14, 2016, on an eight-count charge.

Each defendant pleaded not guilty.

At the resumption of proceedings, an EFCC operative, Abubakar Madaki, was cross-examined by the defence team, while first and second defendants’ counsel Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika and Bolaji Onilenla said they intended to make a “no-case submission”.

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Justice Idris upheld their application for an adjournment and fixed September 27 for adoption of the final written addresses.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to siphon and launder N4.7 billion from the coffers of the Oyo State government.

According to the EFCC, they converted N1.9 billion belonging to the state to their personal use through the account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited.

The anti-graft agency claimed that the defendants retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds from a criminal activity.

Ladoja was accused of removing 600,000 pounds from the state coffers in 2007 and sending same to his daughter, Bimpe, in London.

Besides, the ex-governor was accused of converting N42 million belonging to the state to his personal use and subsequently used same to buy an armoured Land Cruiser.

The EFCC added that Ladoja also converted N728 million and N77 million at different times in 2007 for his personal use and transferred same to Bistrum Investments to buy a property in Ibadan.

The alleged offences contravene sections 14, 16, 17 (a) and 18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, according to the EFCC.

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