Alleged N650m fraud: EFCC to re-arraign ex-minister Akinjide
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will re-arraign former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Mrs Jumoke Akinjide for alleged money laundering on June 11.
The anti-graft agency charged her along with a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader in Oyo State Chief Olarenwaju Otiti and a former Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District Ayo Adeseun.
Former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, said to be at large, is also named in the charge.
They will be re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The defendants were arraigned on January 16 last year before Justice Muslim Hassan on an amended 24-count charge.
Trial had begun before Hassan before the case was transferred to Justice Aneke.
Otiti and Adeseun had on February 6 prayed Justice Hassan to recuse himself from the case.
They accused him of bias, claiming that as a former head of EFCC’s legal unit before he was appointed a judge, they did not believe they would get justice in his court.
Although the judge had refused to recuse himself, the Chief Judge eventually reassigned the case to Justice Aneke.
Defence counsel Messrs Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), O.F.A Adeosun and Akinola Oladeji prayed the court for another date for the re-arraignment.
Ayorinde said he and prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo were to appear in another trial before another judge.
He told the court that Oyedepo would want to be present during the re-arraignment.
EFCC accused the defendants of conspiring to directly take possession of N650million from Mrs Alison-Madueke, which they reasonably ought to have known was part of proceeds of an unlawful act, and without going through a financial institution.
The alleged offence, EFCC said, contravenes the Money Laundering Act.
The defendants pleaded not guilty.