The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos on Monday re-arraigned former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Waheed Akanbi for allegedly diverting the state’s funds.
The duo are facing 11-count charge of money laundering.
They are accused of converting N4.7billion from the state treasury to their personal uses. In the amended charge, EFCC added that Ladoja allegedly “compelled” a broker to sell the state’s shares and did not remit N1.9billion realised from the sales.
EFCC had closed its case before the amendment, but rather than open their defence, the defendants opted to file no-case submissions.
Moving the no-case submissions on Monday, Ladoja’s lawyer Mr Bolaji Onilenla said EFCC did not make out a prima facie case against his client.
An EFCC investigator, Abubakar Madaki, had testified that the shares, worth N6.6billion, were sold without the resolution of the state executive council.
But, Onilenla faulted Madaki’s evidence, arguing that the evidence he gave should have been given by the bank.
He said documents tendered by the prosecution through Madaki ought to have been certified and tendered by the banks.
The lawyer said there were no complaints by the state that the shares were sold illegally.
Counsel for Akanbi, Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), said what the prosecution witnesses said in their evidences were not sufficient to ask the defendants to enter a defence.
“We urge the court to uphold the no-case submission of the second defendant,” the SAN said.
Below are the list of allegations against Ladoja and others
- Converting N1,932,940,032.48 belonging to te state to their personal use through the Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited, despite knowing that it was proceed of crime.
- That Ladoja engaged Fountain Securities as a portfolio manager to sell the shares at a discounted rate, adding that the shares were acquired by McLace Securities.
- That Ladoja removed £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja in London.
- That Ladoja also allegedly bought an armoured Land Cruiser jeep with N42million for himself using public funds.
- That he converted N728,600,000 and another N77,850,000 at different times in 2007, and allegedly transferred N77, 850,000 to Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361 in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The alleged offence, EFCC said, contravenes sections 17(a) and18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, punishable under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2).
Ladoja and Akanbi pleaded not guilty.
Justice Mohammed Idris adjourned until November 12 for hearing.