Court Adjourns Fayose’s Alleged N2.22bn Fraud Trial To March 18th

Court Adjourns Fayose’s Alleged N2.22bn Fraud Trial To March 18th

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has adjourned the trial of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to March 18, 2019.

Fayose was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Investment
Limited, on October 22, 2018, on an 11-count charge bordering on fraud
and money laundering to the tune of over N2.2 billion.

He is facing trial in connection with the sums of N1.299 billion and
$5.3 million out of the N4.65 billion slush funds allegedly shared by
the then National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd). The
court had adjourned to February 7, 2019, for continuation of the
cross-examination of a prosecution witness, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former
Minister of State for Defence. However, the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi
Jacobs, SAN, told the court that he was informed earlier today that
Obanikoro, who is the fifth prosecution witness, PW5, had been admitted
to a hospital.

He said: “My lord, I called the witness yesterday to notify him about
today’s proceedings, but he told me he thought he had been discharged
by the court yesterday. “But this morning, I called his line, but could
not reach him on the phone. “His Special Assistant told me in court
today that he (Obanikoro) had been placed on a three-day bed rest.” When
Justice Olatoregun asked about Obanikoro’s medical reports, the
prosecution counsel said, “I don’t have any medical reports.” Counsel to
the second defendant, Spotless Investment Limited, Olalekan Ojo, SAN,
moved a motion seeking the court to accept the extra-judicial statement
of Justin Eruka, a former aide to Obanikoro, as exhibit.

Moving the motion, Ojo urged the court to admit the certified copy of
the statement. Ojo, who made reference to Sections 39 and 83 of the
Evidence Act, further stated that the deceased’s statement was before
the court as an exhibit, adding that it was relevant to the matter.

However, in his response, Jacobs objected to the admissibility of the
document. He said: “Such a statement is not admissible in Law. “The
maker is dead; so, he only wants to smuggle it to the court. “Such an
extra-judicial statement cannot be tendered in court. “All the arguments
of the defence counsel are not relevant.”

He, therefore, urged the court not to admit it as exhibit.
Consequently, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case to March 18, 19 and
20, 2019 for ruling on the motion and continuation of cross-examination
of the witness.