EFCC re-arraigns Alao-Akala, two others for alleged N11.5b fraud
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned former Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others in the State High Court sitting in Ibadan over alleged N11.5 billion fraud.
Other defendants are: a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Senator Hosea Agboola and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola.
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.
EFCC’s counsel Dr. B. Ubi told the court that when Alao-Akala was the governor, he awarded a road contract worth N8.5 billion between 2007 and 2009 to Pentagon Engineering Services.
Ubi alleged, among others, that the firm owned by Babalola handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local governments without budgetary provision.
The counsel added that Alao-Akala ordered the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the 33 local governments for N3.5 billion.
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. He said 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 pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Hakeem Afolabi, SAN, who is a counsel to Alao-Akala and Babalola, prayed the court to exercise its discretion in granting bail to the defendants.
Afolabi said 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 Justice Moshood Abas and bail was granted after the defendants met the conditions.
The defendants had also appeared before Justice Akintunde Boade and Justice Bayo Taiwo, who was recently transferred out of Ibadan Division.
Afolabi urged the court to allow the defendants to enjoy the earlier bail condition granted to the defendants.
Mr. Richard Ogunwole, SAN, who is counsel to Ayoola, aligned with the submission of Alao-Akala’s counsel.
The EFCC counsel said he would not oppose the bail applications.
Justice Muniru Owolabi granted the defendants’ prayers and adjourned the case till April 16 for trial.