The impending retirement of Justice Akintunde Boade yesterday stalled the continued hearing of the N11.5 billion fraud case levelled against the former Governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two others.
Others arraigned with the former governor include his former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters now Senate Deputy Whip, Senator Hosea Agboola, and a businessman, Femi Babalola.
The accused persons are facing an 11-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, the lead counsel to EFCC, Chief Godwin Obla, declared his readiness to go on with the trial, but for the impending retirement of Justice Boade.
Consequently, Obla wished the judge a happy retirement.
However, on the strength of Obla's position, the trial judge remarked, "just as you have said, I can't hear this case, because I don't want to embark on the journey which I cannot complete. It is obvious that I will soon retire."
As the trial judge and the EFCC counsel exchanged banters, the lead counsel to the accused persons, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) and Pastor Richard Ogunwole (SAN), told the court that they had filed an appeal against the ruling of the court which said their clients have cases to answer late last year.
Both Fagbemi and Ogunwole wished Justice Boade a happy retirement life.
Recall that the trial judge had on December 12, 2012 declared that the former governor and the other accused persons have cases to answer.
The judge then adjourned further hearing in the case till March 27, 2013.
The 11-count charge include conspiracy, illegal award of contracts, obtaining by false presence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal act, and concealing the ownership of such property.
The accused persons counsel led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) had filed a preliminary objection to the charge, asking the court to quash it as it did not disclose any substantial evidence to warrant the accused persons standing full trial based on the allegations.