The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has again failed to arraign Ayodele Oke, former director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and Folashade, his wife, before a federal high court in Lagos.
The duo being prosecuted in connection with some monies reportedly recovered from a flat in Ikoyi, Lagos, were absent at the court last week Friday.
The agency had filed a four-count charge against them in connection with the $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million discovered in April 2017.
The NIA had claimed ownership of the funds, saying they were part of “covert intelligence operations” but there was public outcry that it was a case of looting.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC counsel, told the court that the anti-graft agency has not been able to serve Oke and his wife the charge sheet as their whereabout remains unknown.
“We are having issues with the service of the charge sheet. We have gone to their known addresses but could not find them to be able to serve them with the charges,” Oyedepo told the court.
He, however, urged C.J. Aneke, the judge, to make an order compelling the appearance of Oke and his wife before the court, a request the court turned down.
The judge said the EFCC has not been able to properly file their case and that “it’s when I see the file that I can determine the urgency of any application.”
He then asked the EFCC counsel to return in 24 hours with the relevant application that could warrant such court order.
OKE ON THE RUN?
Shortly after it was announced that the EFCC had charged Oke to court, a source told TheCable that the spy chief and his wife were not in the country.
They were said to have gone to an European country“for medical reasons”.
Sources in the intelligence community told TheCable that subjecting Oke to open trial might compromise the nation’s security operations.
“Most of the projects financed by NIA from the funds are aimed at gathering intelligence and these things are usually done through cash transactions. Government might have succumbed to public sentiments to treat it as a crime, but there will be dire consequences for the nation’s security operations,” an NIA operative had said.