The EFCC had alleged that the duo conspired between April 2010 and July 2011, to commit an illegal act of accepting cash payments amounting to N273.3 million from the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) without going through a financial institution.
The anti graft commission called its first prosecution witness, Mr Adebayo Adedeji, an investigating police officer to give evidence today (Thursday).
The witness told the court, presided by Justice Ibrahim Buba, that the commission’s investigations revealed that Hon. Ikuforiji received cash payments from the accounts section of the Lagos State House of Assembly about 57 times.
Four cash release registers recovered from the state house of assembly, according to the investigation showed that the cash was released in favour of the Lagos speaker, and the second accused person, his personal assistant.
The witness also testified that apart from obtaining the four cash release registers, some members of the State House of Assembly had also made statements which confirmed the payments.
The members who made statements include, Mr Adewale Olatunji a former Clerk of the house, Mrs Toyin Atekoja the Accountant, Mr Rotimi Abirua the Director of Finance, and Mr Kolawole Taiwo the Deputy Speaker of the house.
The Second accused person also made a statement to the EFCC where he admitted to collecting the money on behalf of the Lagos Speaker.
Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Godwin Obla (SAN) then tendered all the statements in court as well as the cash registers.
The Speaker had also disclosed in the statements that cash payments had been the tradition of the Lagos State House of Assembly since his assumption into office as Speaker.
The court admitted all the documents as exhibits before adjourning till the 2nd of December for continuation of trial.
The EFCC had on June 24, re-arraigned the two accused persons before Justice Ibrahim Buba, on an amended 54-count charge of money laundering.
The accused had however, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and were granted bail in the sum of N1 billion each with two sureties each in the sum of N500 million.
The prosecution had alleged that the duo conspired between April 2010 and July 2011, to commit an illegal act of accepting cash payments amounting to N273.3 million from the LAHA without going through a financial institution.
The EFCC had also alleged that Hon Ikuforiji used his position to misappropriate about N500 million of the LAHA’s funds.
He told the court that the offences contravened Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011.