Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday, March 18, 2019, adjourned further hearing in the trial of a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
Fayose was arraigned along with his company, Spotless Investment Limited, on October 22, 2018 on an 11-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering to the tune of N2.2bn
He is facing trial in connection with the sums of N1.299bn and $5.3 million out of the N4.65 million slush funds allegedly shared by the then National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
At Monday’s sitting, the court could not continue with the cross-examination of the fifth prosecution witness, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defence, owing to the absence of the counsel to the second defendant, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), in court.
Ahmed Mustafa, who stood in for Ojo, told the court that he was “a little indisposed and could not appear in court.”
Earlier in the proceedings, the court admitted in evidence the extra-judicial statement of the late Justin Eruka, a former aide to Obanikoro.
At the last adjourned sitting on February 7, 2019, counsel to the second defendant, Spotless Investment Limited, Olalekan Ojo SAN, had moved a motion seeking the court to accept the statement of the deceased as evidence.
The prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), however, objected to the admissibility of the document, arguing that the statement was not admissible in law.
“The maker of the document is dead; so, the defence only wanted to smuggle the document to the court,” he said.
Justice Olatoregun had, therefore, adjourned to today for ruling on the application.
In a short ruling, Justice Olatoregun held that: “Given the fact that the maker of the document is late does not make the document irrelevant to the case before this court.
“The document is relevant to this case and I, therefore, admit the document in evidence.”
The case was thereafter, adjourned to tomorrow, March 19, 2019 for continuation of cross-examination of Obanikoro.