An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, has thrown out a no-case submission by a former governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others over an alleged N11.5 billion road contract fraud.
The former governor, former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs during his administration, Sen. Hosea Agboola, and an Ibadan-based businessman, Mr Femi Babalola, were dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over some road contracts awarded for the 33 local government areas in the state during his tenure between 2007 and 2011. They filed a no-case submission on the charges levelled against them.
Justice Olalekan Owolabi, however, ruled on Thursday, that the trio need to enter defence on the alleged charges of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and award of contract without budgetary provision levelled against them.
While ruling on the no-case submission, Owolabi said the defendants needed to enter defence on the charges.
But the judge discharged and acquitted Alao-Akala on the charges of acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing ownership of such property.
He said the witnesses called by the prosecutor failed to link evidence to the acquired property, and also failed to prove genuine ownership of the property.
He adjourned the case to October 14, 21 and 22 for the defendants to open their defence.
The defendants are facing 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, awarding contract without budgetary provision, obtaining money by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing its ownership.
The case has been on for over five years.