Alleged money laundering: Judge’s absence stalls ex-Lagos speaker, Ikuforiji’s trial

The trial of a former speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, over alleged money laundering was on Monday, stalled because Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court did not sit.

The case which was first fixed for continuation of trial on November 15, could not proceed at the last adjourned date as the court did not sit and it was, consequently, fixed for November 20.

On Monday, the case also could not proceed as the court did not sit following a letter by defence counsel, seeking an adjournment of the case to a more convenient date.

A new date is, however, yet to be communicated to parties.

Justice Liman, who presides over the case, had been transferred out of the Lagos division but still comes from his division to preside over the case following a fiat.

Ikuforiji is charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alongside his former Personal Assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi.

They are being tried before on a 54-count bordering on alleged N338.8 million money laundering.

They had each pleaded not guilty and were allowed to continue on an earlier bail granted to them in 2012 when they were first arraigned.

On March 17, 2021, the EFCC had closed its case after calling the second witness for the prosecution.

Prosecution called a total of two witnesses in support of its case.

Meanwhile, Justice Liman was later transferred out of the Lagos division and the case suffered several set backs.

On May 4, (this year) defence counsel Mr Dele Adesina SAN, opened the case for the defence and had began calling witnesses.

Defence called three witnesses, including the first defendant (Ikuforiji).

Among others, Ikuforiji had testified how he was being prosecuted on a faceless petition. Punch

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