N11.5b Fraud: We Have No Case To Answer, Alao-Akala, Others Tell Court

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Former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others charged with N11.5 billion fraud case yesterday told an Oyo State High Court in Ibadan that they have no case to answer.

The NAN reports that Alao-Akala, former Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hosea Agboola and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola, are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendants are facing an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, awarding contract without budgetary provision, obtaining money by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act among others.

At the resumed trial yesterday, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, counsel to Alao-Akala and Babalola, while adopting his written address in the no-case submission, informed the court that his clients have no case to answer.

Fagbemi said none of the documents tendered by the prosecution linked his clients with the charges against them, adding that it was unnecessary calling his clients to enter the witness box.

He said there was no evidence before the court that the contract was signed by any of the defendants.

Fagbemi said the documents tendered by the prosecution showed that the contract was signed by Ademola Ojo, the state former Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).

He said it was the duty of the EFCC to prove and linked the defendants with the charges against them, which they had abandoned.

In his submission, Mr. Richard Ogunwole, SAN, counsel to Agboola, said the EFCC failed to provide the name of the petitioner, saying the prosecution was acting on an anonymous petition.

He urged the court to uphold his no-case submission.

In his response, the EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Festus Ojo, urged the court to reject the no-case submission filed by the defendants and called on them to defend the allegations against them.

Ojo said it was immaterial that none of the defendants signed the contract, adding that all evidence, both oral and circumstantial, leaked them to the offence and must be called upon to enter defence.

Justice Olalekan Owolabi adjourned the case until July 15 for ruling on the no-case submission.

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