Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday asked a former Oyo State Governor, Governor Rashidi Ladoja, to open his defence in a case of alleged N4.7bn fraud leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The court in a ruling dismissed the no case submission by Ladoja as it held that a prima facie case has been established against him by the prosecution.
Ladoja was charged with converting N4.7bn from Oyo State treasury to his personal use.
He was re-arraigned along with Waheed Akanbi, a former Commissioner for Finance in the state.
They are standing trial on an 11-count charge of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds.
The duo, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After the close of prosecution’s case, the accused file a no-case submission, contending that the prosecution failed to establish a case against them.
The court then adjourned until Monday for ruling on the submission.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed Idris held that based on evidence by the prosecution, the accused had some explanations to make.
“In the light of all the evidence tendered by the prosecution, and in my opinion, the defendants might have to explain the contents of some of those exhibits,” court held.
The court, therefore, dismissed the no-case submission and ordered the accused to begin defence.
Consequently, defence counsel, Bolaji Onilenla, prayed for an adjournment to enable the accused to start defence.
MIdris adjourned the case until November 20 for defence to begin.
The defendants were alleged to have conspired to siphon and launder N4.7bn from the coffers of Oyo State Government.