The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it is prosecuting a former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, based on a petition it received against him sometime in July 2007 from the Office of the Secretary to the Oyo State Government.
A policeman attached to the EFCC, Abdullahi Lawal, stated this on Wednesday when he appeared as a prosecution witness before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, where Ladoja is being tried for an alleged fraud of N4.7 billion.
But the Wednesday’s proceedings soon ran into a logjam as the defence counsel resisted the move by the EFCC to tender the said petition as an exhibit in evidence against Ladoja and his co-defendant, Waheed Akanbi.
Justice Idris consequently adjourned till Thursday (today) to rule on the admissibility of the petition.
The EFCC had first arraigned Ladoja and Akanbi in 2008 before Justice A.R. Mohammed.
But the defendants had objected to the charges against them and challenged the case over the course of seven years to the Supreme Court.
The case was, however, reopened last year December before Justice Idris after the apex court dismissed the appeal by the defendants.
The trial which was scheduled to kick off properly before Justice Idris was, however, botched on account of argument and counter-arguments on the admissibility of the first document sought to be tendered by the prosecution.
Ladoja’s lawyer, Mr Bolaji Onilenla, contended that the petition was not part of the proof of evidence served on the defence by the prosecution and admitting it would amount to the prosecution ambushing the defence.
He said the failure to frontload the petition was a violation of his client’s rights.