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EFCC re-arraigns Alao-Akala over N11.5bn ‘fraud’

EFCC re-arraigns Alao-Akala over N11.5bn ‘fraud’
March 05
16:16 2018
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday re-arraigned Adebayo Alao-Akala, a former governor of Oyo state, and two others in an Oyo state high court over alleged N11.5 billion fraud.

The other defendants are Hosea Agboola, a former Oyo state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Femi Babalola and an Ibadan-based businessman.

The defendants are facing an 11-count charge of conspiracy, “awarding contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property”, among others.

B. Ubi, EFCC’s counsel, told the court that when Alao-Akala was the governor of Oyo state, he awarded a road contract worth N8.5 billion to Pentagon Engineering Services.

Ubi alleged that the firm owned by Babalola handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local governments without budgetary provision.

The counsel claimed that Alao-Akala ordered the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the 33 local governments in the state to the tune of N3.5 billion.

He also alleged that Alao-Akala conspired with Ayoola to withdraw N2.9 billion from Oyo state local government joint account.

The prosecutor told the court that Alao-Akala also illegally acquired some property on Old Bodija road, off Rotimi Williams road, when he was the governor of the state.

He said that the offences contravened Section 22 (4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and Section 1 (18) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Hakeem Afolabi, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and counsel to Alao-Akala and Babaloa prayed the court to exercise its discretion in granting bail to the defendants.

Afolabi said that the charge before the court was not a fresh one but a re-arraignment.

He said the matter was first filed on October 11, 2011, before Moshood Abas, a judge, and bail was granted after the defendants met the conditions.

The defendants had also appeared before Akintunde Boade and Justice Bayo Taiwo, two judges.

Afolabi said Alao-Akala was granted bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum while the other defendants were granted bail in the sum of N3 million each with two sureties in like sum.

Afolabi urged the court to allow the defendants to enjoy the earlier bail condition granted to the defendants.

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