21 November 2013

Nigeria: N4.7 Billion Money Laundering - Ladoja Urges Court to Quash Case

The Court of Appeal, Lagos, yesterday, fixed January 15, 2014 for hearing of the appeal filed by former Oyo State Governor, Rasheed Ladoja, asking the court to quash the N4.7 billion money laundering charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Challenging the competence of EFCC's charges, Ladoja through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), contended that the proof of evidence placed before the lower court by the anti-graft agency had no nexus with the charge against him, and did not disclose any prima facie case against him.

He asked the court for a declaration that the EFCC had no power, jurisdiction or authority to prefer any criminal charge against him, and raised an objection to the charge on the grounds that the charge levied against him were vague and did not link him with the commission of any crime to warrant his arraignment.

The appellate court, presided over by Justice Sidi Bage informed Ladoja's counsel that hearing of the appeal would place more pressure on the court, saying that the court was confronted with too much workload and that each justice had more than 10 judgements to write hence could not take arguments on the appeal.

Justice Bage pointed out that the appeal being a criminal matter would require that judgement must be delivered within specific date.

EFCC had arraigned Ladoja before Justice Ramat Mohammed of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos in November 2008 alongside one of his former aides, Chief Waheed Akanbi, on an amended 10 count charge of money laundering to the tune of N4.7 billion.

The duo were said to have conspired to convert property and resources derived from an illegal act, with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the property and resources.

It was alleged that Ladoja used about N42 million to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser Jeep, and remitted about 600,000.00 pounds to one Bimpe Ladoja in London.

But, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and were admitted to bail.

Counsel to EFCC, Festus Keyamo commended the justices for the efforts they put in to attend to the cases filed before them.

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