N650m Fraud: Akinjide, others must face trial—EFCC

EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has rejected a request by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, and others, for out of court settlement regarding an on-going trial over involvement in alleged N650 million fraud.

Akinjide, alongside Senator Ayo Adeseun and Chief (Mrs.) Olanrewaju Otiti, are standing trial before Justice Muslim Hassan on charges bordering on the said allegation.

Although the money involved had been returned by the accused persons , the anti-graft agency however told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that it had rejected the ‘out-of-court settlement’ proposed by the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, and others,

At the resumed trial of the accused persons, counsel to the EFCC, Nnaemeka Omewa, who told the court that his agency received a proposal for out-of-court settlement from the accused persons’ counsel, however, said that he had the instruction of the management of his agency to reject the said proposal, as it was not in line with the provisions of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.

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He added that based on the rejection of the said proposed settlement, his agency is prepared for the trial of the accused persons.

But Akinjide’s counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), said that the three accused persons made the proposal to the EFCC in line with Section 14 of the agency’s Act.

He stated that for the court record and because of public interest, the case against his client and others seemed unnecessary, adding that the case would be defended vigorously as it is political, unnecessary and waste of resources.

Also, Adeseun’s counsel, Mr. Michael Lana, described the refusal of the proposed settlement as a betrayal of trust.

Counsel to the third defendant, Akinola Oladeun, who expressed readiness to go ahead with trial, said there was no time his client wanted to enter into any plea-bargaining.

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Oladehun also filed an application for bail variation for his client, saying that his client is due for medical check-up overseas which she has been postponing. He, therefore, urged the court to hear the application.

But the court could not hear the application, as the prosecution needed time to respond to the application.

However, the EFCC thereafter called its first prosecution witness, Mrs. Kehinde Adeniyi, a banker with a new generation bank, who testified that she gave N650 million to Akinjide, Adeseun and Yinka Taiwo on the instruction of one Martins Ozuogbe from the bank’s head office.Trial continues on March 8 and 9, 2018.