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EFCC arraigns Alao-Akala, Senator Agboola over N11.5b fraud

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday October 11, 2011 arraigned former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two other persons; Senator Hosea Ayoola Agboola and Mr. Olufemi Ademola Babalola, a private businessman before Justice Moshood Abass of the Oyo State High Court on an 11 count charge bordering on abuse of office to wit awarding contracts without budget provision and obtaining by false pretence. 

The accused persons allegedly defrauded the state of over N11 billion during Alao-Akala's four year tenure as governor of the state. Agboola, now a serving Senator at the National Assembly was the state commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters under Akala, while Babalola was a contractor with the state government.

The trio were accused of offences ranging from conspiracy to obtain by false pretence contrary to section 8 of the advance fee fraud and other related offences act, concealing the genuine ownership of two properties in London and conspiracy to award contract/awarding contract without budget provision; an offence which is punishable under section 22 (4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

The three accused persons however pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to them. Counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla then asked the court to fix a date for their trial. However, counsel to the accused persons, Mamman Osuman, a senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN who led three other senior advocates, Chief Bola Ayorinde, N. O. Oke, and 17 other lawyers told the court that he had filed an application for bail. 

He said based on the fact that his client was served the charge sheet at about 3.oclock this morning (October 11), they were diligent enough to come to court and also file their bail application. Counsel to EFCC, Godwin Obla then told the court that he was statutorily entitled to 48 hours to respond.

Justice Abbas then stood the case down for 30 minutes before delivering his ruling. He ruled that since the accused persons were served with their charges this morning and they were in court, he would not be able to grant 48 hours to EFCC counsel to respond to the bail application. He therefore adjourned to    tomorrow, October 12 for hearing of the bail application and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the custody of the State Security Service, SSS.

Some of the charges read
Count 1.
Statement of offence
Conspiracy to award contract without budget provision contrary to Section 26 (1) (c) and punishable the we under section 22(4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000

Particular of Offence
Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala whilst being the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Hon. Hosea Ayoola Agboola whilst being the Commissioner of local government and Chieftaincy Matters and Olufemi Ademola Babalola whilst trading under the name and style of Pentagon Engineering Service within the jurisdiction of this honourable court sometime between 2007-2009, conspired amongst yourselves to award contract without budget provision for the sum of N8,500,000.000.00 (Eight billion five hundred million naira) for the construction of roads in the 33 local government council areas in Oyo State on behalf of the said local    government council.

Count 3
Statement of Offence
Awarding contract without budget provision contrary to and punishable under Section 22(4) of the corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000

Particulars of offence
Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala whilst being the Executive Governor of Oyo State and Hon. Hosea Agboola whilst being the Commissioner of local government and chieftaincy Matters within the jurisdiction of this honourable court sometimes in 2007 awarded contract in the sum of N2,270,565,000.00 (two billion, two hundred and seventy    million five hundred    and sixty five thousand naira) for the supply of 33 drilling mechines on behalf of all the local government councils in Oyo State without budget provision.

Meanwhile, efforts are being intensified to get three other former governors; Gbenga Daniel, Danjuma Goje and Akwe Doma still in custody arraigned in court.