by Usman Alabi
The EFCC yesterday re-arraigned former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja at the Federal High Court Lagos for an alleged fraud of N4.7 billion.
He was charged along with one Waheed Akanbi before Justice Mohammed Idris on eight-count of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds.
The former Oyo State governor was first arraigned before Justice A.R Mohammed eight years ago.
This re-arraignment on Wednesday followed the dismissal of their appeal against the charges which went all the way to the Supreme Court over a period of seven years.
The duo were accused of converting N1,,932,940,032.48 belonging to Oyo to their personal use, using Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited. The EFCC claimed the duo retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was a proceed of a criminal conduct.
The prosecution also accused Ladoja of removing the sum of six hundred thousand pound from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja, who at that time was in London.
He was also accused of using the sum of N42m belonging to the state to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser jeep for himself.
He was also accused of converting a sum of N728,600,000 and another N77,850,000 a separate times in 2007 to his own.
The EFCC also claimed that Ladoja transferred the N77,850,000 to one Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361, Ibadan, Oyo state.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
The defence counsel, Mr. Bolaji Onilenla and Mr. Adeyinka Olumide Fusika, informed the court of their clients’ bail applications, the prosecution were in opposition to this arguing that the defendants frustrated the trial for almost a decade.
Justice Idris however declared that the court could not deny the defendants bail on account of their exercising their constitutional right of appeal, which resulted in the delay of the case.
He adjourned the case till February 14, 15 and 16 2017.