Ayodele Fayose's N2.2 billion fraud trial delayed over absence of witness

Former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose
Emeh Joy

The N2.2bn fraud trial of a former governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose and a firm, Spotless Investment Limited has been brought to a standstill on Monday as a result of the inability of the prosecution to bring its witness to court.

The prosecuting counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), told Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos that the witness's relative had been admitted into a COVID-19 isolation centre thus, accounting for the absence of the witness.

Jacobs urged that the court adjourns the case. The defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo (SAN), said he had no objection whatsoever for an adjournment. Justice Aneke finally adjourned the case until October 20, 2020.

The EFCC alleged in its charge that Fayose on June 17, 2014 "Took possession of the sum of N1,219,000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti state, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing".

Fayose, on the same day, was also alleged to have "received a cash payment of $5,000,000 from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the then Minister of State for Defence, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 1 and 16(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 16 (2)(b) of the same Act.

The EFCC further alleged he purchased a property at No. 44 Osun Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, for N200m in the name of his elder sister, Mrs Moji Oladeji.

However, Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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