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N35M DEAL: EFCC CHARGES MKO ABIOLA'S SON TO COURT

By NBF News
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Members of the public were stunned yesterday when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) brought Deji Abiola, second son of the late business mogul, Basorun M.K.O Abiola to court over alleged N35.5 million deal.

Deji was dragged before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of Lagos High court sitting in Ikeja for alleged stealing and fraudulent conversion of the money on the pretext that he would use it to import printing machines for the complainant.

The EFCC alleged that the late prominent politician's son had received N35.5 million sometime in 2008 from one Jide Jose, under the pretext of importing printing machines from Switzerland for him.

The anti-graft agency claimed that he never supplied the machines to the complainant and had converted the money to his personal use.

When the case came up for hearing, the prosecuting EFCC counsel, Omeiza Adebola, asked the court to compel Abiola to take his plea and be properly arraigned. He also told the court that the matter had been pending before the court since September 2, 2010, insisting that the charge should be read to the defendant.

However, Abiola's counsel, Mr A.B. Kasumu objected to his arraignment, arguing that they were just being notified about the charge preferred against the defendant. The defence counsel drew the attention of the court to the fact the defendant who had been enjoying administrative bail granted him by the EFCC had come to court on his own volition.

He added that Abiola should be granted sufficient time to consult with his lawyers before taking his plea as guaranteed by the right to fair hearing stipulated in the constitution. Kasumu also asked the court to grant his client bail or remand him in EFCC custody pending the filing of the bail application to be heard at the next adjournment. The court eventually remanded the defendant in EFCC custody while the matter was adjourned to June 30, 2011 for Abiola's arraignment.