EFCC arraigns Lagos Assembly Speaker for laundering N501 million
After prolonged delays, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today arraigned the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji at the Federal High Court, Lagos on 20 count charge of money laundering.
The anti-graft agency alleges that the Speaker used his position to launder over N500 million of the Lagos State House of Assembly funds.
At today’s hearing the Speaker Ikuforiji was arraigned alongside his Personal Assistant, Mr Oyebode Alade Atoyebi on an amended twenty-count charge of laundering over N501 million.
According to the charge sheet the EFCC alleged that Hon Ikuforiji and Mr Atoyebi conspired among themselves between April 2010 and July 2011 to “do an illegal act by accepting various cash payments from the State Assembly without going through a financial institution.”
Both men pleaded not guilty to the allegations after which their counsel, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) asked the court for bail on self-recognition, because the Speaker is the “third citizen in Lagos State” and the other being “an aide to the Speaker.”
The EFCC did not oppose the bail applications but however urged the Court to impose bail conditions on the bail to be granted to his aide.
The Presiding judge Justice Okechukwu Okeke, granted the bail on self-recognition adjourned to the 26 & 27th of March.
The Speaker was initially scheduled to be arraigned on the 30th of January after weeks of failing to appear in court despite an arrest warrant.
The order was, however, discharged by the then presiding Judge, Justice John Soho on December 15, 2011, when the Speaker voluntarily came to court.
Justice John Soho subsequently withdrew from the case.
Counsel to the Speaker, had explained their absence in court was due to their not being served with the court proceeding by the EFCC to the effect that they should appear in court.