The trial of a former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others could not go ahead on Wednesday, due to the absence of prosecution witnesses in court.
Justice Muniru Owolabi of Oyo State High Court 14 had fixed Wednesday, March 13 for the commencement of trial at the last hearing.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had rearraigned Alao-Akala on March 5, 2018 over N11.5bn fraud when he was the governor of the state between 2007 and 2011. Also arraigned alongside Alao-Akala are a former commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy affairs in the state, Sen. Hosea Agboola and the Chief Executive Officer of Pentagon Consults, Mr. Olufemi Babalola.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Dr Ben Ubi told the court that the prosecution witnesses were not available, therefore the trial cannot proceed. He prayed the court to adjourn the case.
According to Ubi, “the election that are ongoing which the witnesses are involved in, coupled with the Easter break coming, both of which will not avail us with these witnesses.
“Witnesses are on official assignment. They are police officers and most of the police officers are on election duty,” he added.
The defence counsels, Hakeem Afolabi(SAN) and Richard Ogunwole(SAN) did not raise any objection to the prosecution counsel’s request that the case be adjourned.
Justice Owolabi adjourned the case to May 2 for further hearing.