The Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-arraigned a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide, and two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State before a Federal High Court Sitting in Lagos.
The trio of Akinjide, Senator Ayo Adeseun who represented Oyo Central Senatorial District between 2011 and 2015 and Mrs. Olanrewaju Otiti a chieftain of the party in Oyo state were re-arraigned on a N650 million Money Laundering Charge.
At the proceedings today before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that the prosecution had amended the charge against the defendants, Channels TV reports.
He asked the court to quash a previous charge made against them and substitute same with a fresh 24 count amended charge.
When the counts were read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Bolaji Ayorinde who is representing Ms. Akinjide then made an oral application for the court to allow his client to continue on the existing bail granted to her by the previous court.
The lawyers for the other defendants also made similar requests.
But the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo objected and instead asked the court to impose fresh bail conditions which will secure the attendance of the defendants in court for their trial.
He said, “My Lord the prosecution is worried about how this case has travelled from Ibadan to Lagos and my Lord will be the fourth judge that will handle this case, all at the instance of the defence.
Our fear is that these defendants are interfering with the quick dispensation of justice in this case and the interest of justice will be better served if defendants file motion for bail, so that we can respond to it by placing before the court, reasons why these defendants should not be granted bail and we can only place that fact before my Lord by way of affidavit”.
In a short ruling, Justice Aneke dismissed his objections and granted the oral application of the defendants to continue on the existing bail earlier granted to them by the former trial judge.
The judge said, “I have perused the submissions of respective counsels, I am of the view that bail should not be used to serve as punishment on the defendants whom the constitution presume innocent until otherwise proven”.
“Consequently I order that the defendants should continue on the existing bail earlier granted to them by Justice Muslim Hassan”.
The court then adjourned the case to the 30th of September for trial.#
Source: Channels TV