The prosecution of the Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, and his personal assistant, Alade Atoyebi, for alleged money laundering suffered another setback yesterday as the presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, adjourned the case indefinitely.
The judge also accused the prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), of attempting to blackmail the court through its attitude to prosecution of the case.
Justice Okeke said: “This case has witnessed an unprecedented delay by the prosecution and tactics set by persons to blackmail this court.
“In the interest of justice, I will transfer the case to another judge and hearing notices will be issued at a later date
“This matter is hereby adjourned sine dine”
It will be recalled that counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Godwin Obla, withdrew from prosecuting the case at the last adjourned date.
He did that by sending one Mr. A. M. Yusuf to inform the court of his decision to withdraw his representation as a counsel to the EFCC.
Prior to that, Obla had been absent in court in the last four consecutive sittings preceding the last adjourned date of April 9, 2013.
The days Obla had been absent in which the court had been forced to adjourn were November 6, 2012, November 20, 2012, February 18, 2013, and March 25, 2013.
These serial absences made the counsel to the accused, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) and Mr Tunde Akinrimisi, to contend that the prosecutor had shown a high level of indifference in handling the matter since its commencement.
The defence lawyers also insisted that the case had not been diligently prosecuted by Obla, whom they said was in the habit of asking for frivolous adjournments.