The Oyo State High Court in Iyaganku, Ibadan, has quashed the stay on proceeding application filed by an ex-governor of the state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, seeking to pend trial on an allegation of 11.5billion fraud filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), until the outcome of an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Alao-Akala, alongside a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hosea Agboola, and the Chief Executive Officer of Pentagon Consults, Olufemi Babalola, is standing trial for offences bordering on alleged criminal conspiracy and fraudulent practices to the tune of N11.5 billion.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by EFCC’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, the defendants were earlier arraigned on an 11-count charge by the anti-graft agency.
After the arraignment, their trial was stalled, following their applications to stay further proceedings/trial pending the determination of their appeals at the Supreme Court by counsel to the first and third defendants, A.O. Afolabi (SAN) and A. Ogunwole (SAN).
Their motions were however opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Ben Ubi who urged the court to refuse the applications and order for accelerated hearing of the case in accordance with the intendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Oyo State, 2016 and Section 19(2)(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(Establishment) Act, 2004.
In his ruling, on Monday, Justice M. L. Owolabi said: “stay of proceedings will do more damage to the case, which has been pending since 2011 and ordered the prosecution to assemble all its witnesses at the next date.”
The case was then adjourned to June 29 and July 3, 2018, for trial.