EFCC re-arraigns Akala, others
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, re-arraigned a former governor of Oyo state, Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two others before the Oyo state High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, over alleged N11.5 billion fraud.
Other defendants are; a former Oyo state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy matters, Sen. 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 pretense, acquiring property with money derived from illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property, among others.
EFCC’s counsel, Dr Ubi, informed the court that when Alao-Akala was the governor of Oyo state, he awarded a road contract worth N8.5 billion between 2007 and 2009 to Pentagon Engineering Services.
The firm according to him was owned by Senator Hosea Babalola and handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local governments without budgetary provision.
The counsel further claimed that Alao-Akala ordered the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the 33 local governments in the state to the tune of N3.5 billion stressing that Alao-Akala conspired with Ayoola to withdraw N2.9 billion from Oyo State Local Government Joint Account.
Responding to the allegations, Counsel to the former Governor, Alao Akala pleaded not guilty.
Speaking through his lawyer, Hakeem Afolabi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and counsel to Alao-Akala and Babaloa prayed the court to exercise its discretion in granting bail to the defendants.
Afolabi said that the charge before the court was not a fresh one but a re-arraignment adding that the matter was first filed on Oct. 11, 2011, before Justice Moshood Abas and bail was granted after the defendants met the conditions.
The EFCC counsel, Dr. Ubi said he would not oppose the bail applications. Justice Muniru Owolabi granted the defendants’ prayers and adjourned the case till April 16 for trial.
Report by Banke Kunle