Why We Are Prosecuting Rashidi Ladoja – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it is prosecuting a former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, based on a petition it re­ceived against him some­time in July 2007 from the Office of the Secretary to the Oyo State Govern­ment.

A policeman attached to the EFCC, Abdul­lahi Lawal, stated this on Wednesday when he ap­peared as a prosecution witness before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, where Ladoja is being tried for an alleged fraud of N4.7 billion.

But the Wednesday’s proceedings soon ran into a logjam as the defence counsel resisted the move by the EFCC to tender the said petition as an exhibit in evidence against Lado­ja and his co-defendant, Waheed Akanbi.

Justice Idris conse­quently adjourned till Thursday (today) to rule on the admissibility of the petition.

The EFCC had first arraigned Ladoja and Akanbi in 2008 before Justice A.R. Mohammed.

But the defendants had objected to the charges against them and chal­lenged the case over the course of seven years to the Supreme Court.

The case was, how­ever, reopened last year December before Justice Idris after the apex court dismissed the appeal by the defendants.

The trial which was scheduled to kick off properly before Justice Id­ris was, however, botched on account of argument and counter-arguments on the admissibility of the first document sought to be tendered by the pros­ecution.

Ladoja’s lawyer, Mr Bo­laji Onilenla, contended that the petition was not part of the proof of evi­dence served on the de­fence by the prosecution and admitting it would amount to the prosecu­tion ambushing the de­fence.

He said the failure to frontload the petition was a violation of his client’s rights.


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