Former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Rasheed Ladoja and one of his aides, Waheed Akanbi, were today arraigned before a federal high court Ikoyi, Lagos Southwest Nigeria over an alleged N4.7 billion fraud.
Ladoja and Akanbi were re-arraigned on an eight-count criminal charge of money laundering contrary to Section 17(a) and punishable under Section 14(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
Thetwo accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. Bolaji Onilenla appearing for Ladoja and Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika appearing for Akanbi urged the court to allow them to continue on their former bail granted them when they were arraigned before Justice Ramat Mohammed.
The EFCC prosecuting counsel Oluwafemi Olabisi, while opposing the oral application of the defence counsels told the court not to grant the request of the defence counsels and impose fresh bail conditions since the case is starting afresh.
However, the presiding judge, Idris Mohammed, later granted them bail on the existing conditions given by Justice Ramat Mohammed who had earlier presided over the matter since there was no evidence before the court that they flouted the existing bail conditions granted them. Thereafter, Justice Idris adjourned till 14th of February, 2017 for their trial to commence.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) had earlier in November 2008 arraigned the two of them on a 10-count charge of N4.7 billion fraud before Justice Ramat Mohammed, who was then serving at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court.
However in the current amended charge filed before the court, the EFCC alleged that sometime in 2007 at Ibadan Oyo State the former Governor Chief Rasheed Ladoja and Waheed Akanbi conspired together and converted the sum of N1. 9 billion property of Oyo State Government, through the account of Heritage Apartment Limited at GTbank which sum they knew represented the proceeds of crime with the aim of concealing the nature of the proceed of the said crime and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 14(1) of the money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2004.
The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ladoja used N42 million out of the proceeds to purchase an Armoured Land Cruiser Jeep, and remitted about £600,000 to one Bimpe Ladoja in London, while he retained N77. 85 million proceeds of crime by transferring the said sum to his nominee to wit: Bistrum Investments to enable it to purchase, Quarter 361, Ibadan in Oyo state for himself (Rasheed Ladoja) knowing fully that the amount represented proceeds of a criminal conduct.