N603m fraud: EFCC vows to appeal Lagos Speaker, Ikuforiji's acquittal
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has on Friday vowed to appeal against the verdict of the Federal High Court which acquitted the Speaker of the Lagos State house of Assembly, Mr. Adeniyi Ikuforiji and one of his aides, Oyebode Atoyebi on Friday.
The Lagos Speaker and Atoyebi had been facing prosecution on a 54 count of alleged money laundering to the tune of N603 million.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said in an statement to journalist which was obtained by THE CITIZEN, that the EFCC was not satisfied with the ruling of the court as it had proof of evidence that the accused persons committed acts in violation of the Money Laundering to the tune of N338.8.
The statement read in part, “The learned judge erred in this ruling. The proof of evidence to the charge clearly showed that the provisions of the Money Laundering Act had been violated by the accused persons in receiving various cash payments from the assembly amounting to about N338.8 million.'
The statement quoted Justice Buba of the Lagos High Court as having ruled that the prosecution failed to prove its case against the accused person beyond reasonable doubt.
The presiding Judge was said to have described the ruling as 'anachronistic' on the ground the prosecution 'misconstrued and mis-interpreted the Money Laundering Act.'
It was stated that Ikuforiji's lead Counsel, Wole Olanipekun(SAN) had urged the court to ignore the charges against his client on the premise that the Money Laundering Act of 2004 with which the accused persons were charged had been 'replaced with the money Laundering Act, 2011 and should not have been used in charging him.'
Counsel to the second accused, Tunde Akinbidi was said to have aligned his position with that of Olanikpekun, which was upheld by the presiding judge who discharged and acquitted the duo.