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N11.5bn Fraud: Court Adjourns Ruling On Alao-Akala’s Application For Stay Of Proceedings

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Monday adjourned ruling on an  application  for  stay of proceedings  filed by  a former governor of  the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala,  and two others in an  N11.5 billion  fraud suit.

Alao-Akala, Sen. Hosea Agboola, a former  Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the state, and Mr  Femi Babalola,  an Ibadan-based businessman, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Justice Muniru   Owolabi adjourned  ruling on the application till June 4 after listening to the arguments  of both the prosecution and the defence  counsel.

Alao-Akala’s counsel, Mr Hakeem Afolabi (SAN), had informed the court that there was a pending appeal on the suit before the Supreme Court.

Afolabi said that if the appeal at the Supreme Court succeeds,  it would automatically terminate the proceedings  at the lower court.

He also said that going ahead with the matter at the lower court would be oppressive and  constitute an  abuse of  court process.

Afolabi urged the court to allow stay of  proceedings  pending the determination of the matter at the Supreme Court.

Babalola’s counsel, Mr Richard Ogunwole (SAN),   aligned  with the submission of Afolabi and urged the court to grant the application.

But EFCC counsel, Mr Benedict Ubi, argued  that allowing the application would  violate the constitution  and Section 40 of the EFCC Act, 2004.

Ubi urged the court to refuse the application and allow proceedings  to go on.

The defendants are facing an 11-count charge of conspiracy, awarding contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretence,  acquiring property with money derived from illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property  among others.

Reports show that the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charge

 

 



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