The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has failed to produce witnesses on the ongoing trial of Former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others in an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan over alleged N11.5bn fraud, hence, the court has adjourned the trial to June 29 2018.
The defendants including a former Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Senator Hosea Agboola; and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola.
The defendants are facing an 11 counts charge bordering on conspiracy, awarding a contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing the owner act of such property, among others.
Delivering his ruling on an earlier application asking the trial court to allow the supreme Court deliver its ruling on an earlier interlocutory appeal filed to determine the competence of the case, Justice Muniru Owolabi dismissed the application as being tantamount to asking for a stay of proceedings which is against the spirit of the administration of criminal justice act and order Prosecution to put his witnesses in the box for commencement of trial.
The EFCC counsel, Dr. B. Ubi, while seeking leave of court pleaded for an adjournment to enable him assemble his witnesses at a later date citing exigencies of time, cost and distance as reason for the absence of his witnesses in court.
Counsel to the 1st – 3rd respondents aligned with the submission of Prosecution for adjournment and informed the court of its readiness to go ahead with its defence as against the lack of lack of preparedness of EFCC and it’s Prosecution team.
It will be recalled that Former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala had filed an interlocutory appeal before the Supreme Court bothering on the N11.5bn fraud case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).