Alleged N388m fraud: Supreme Court orders re-trial of ex-Speaker
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the retrial of a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who was charged with money laundering offences involving N338m.
A five-man panel of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Mary Peter-Odilli, unanimously ruled that the case be re-assigned to another judge of the Federal High Court other than Justice Ibrahim Buba who had exonerated Ikuforiji of the charges.
The apex court had, earlier in December 2017, made similar orders of retrial and re-assignment of the case to another judge in its judgment on the appeal filed by Ikuforiji’s ex-aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, with whom the former Speaker was charged, tried and absolved at the Federal High Court.
Justice Buba, who is of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, had in a ruling in September 2014 held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission failed to establish a prima facie case against Ikuforiji and Atoyebi and dismissed the 56 counts against him.
Dissatisfied with the Federal High Court’s judgment, the EFCC, appealed to the Court of Appeal, which, in November 2016, overturned Justice Buba’s verdict and ordered that Ikuforiji and his former aide be tried afresh before another judge.
But both Ikuforiji and Atoyebi had filed separate appeals against the Court of Appeal’s decision and went to the Supreme Court in 2016.