Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Hearing in the case of the N8bn currency scam, involving six Central Bank of Nigeria officials and other bankers, continued at the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Wednesday as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission alleged that one of the accused persons, Mr. Ayodeji Alase of First Bank, had property worth hundreds of millions of naira.
It was alleged that Alase, a primary six certificate holder, had a duplex at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan, a shopping complex in the city, a warehouse at Podo area of the city, a fenced plot at Dugbe, a block of four flats at Apeye, two plots of land and five-bedroom flat in other parts of the Oyo State capital.
He was alleged to have a credit balance of N132m in one of his bank accounts.
The commission also alleged that Alase possessed a block of five-bedroom flat at Apete, Ibadan and a supermarket at New Garage, Apata area of Ibadan.
Other accused persons, including Olaniran Adeola, Ayodele Adeyemi, Isiaq Akano and others were also said to own property in South Africa, filling stations, cement shops, schools, supermarkets, exotic cars and buildings in several locations in Nigeria.
A woman, Mrs. Afolabi Olunike, was alleged to be an owner of a duplex, several plots of land, a storey building and another three acres of land.
Earlier, during the hearing, Alase had delayed proceedings of the court when he claimed not to understand English Language when charges were read to him.
Lead prosecution for EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Jacob (SAN), faulted his claim, alleging that although Alase was employed as a guard, he rose to become a cash assistant in First Bank Plc.
Justice A.O. Faaji later ruled that an interpreter should be provided to ease communication between the court and the accused.
On Wednesday, cases were heard before Justice Faaji in batches with the first set of accused persons arraigned on 28 counts
They are Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola, Toogun Phillip, Ayodele Adeyemi, Isiaq Akano, Oyebamiji Akeem, Alase, Ajiwe Adegoke and Idowu Oguntade, who is still at large.
Three officials of the CBN were among the accused, while others were from Wema Bank Plc and First Bank Plc.
Prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi (SAN), told the court that the accused persons were charged with 28 counts, which included forgery of documents, conspiracy and stealing.
According to the charge sheet, the accused persons were charged with intent to defraud and conspiracy to commit an offence punishable under the Nigerian law.
They all pleaded not guilty to all the allegations.
Efforts of counsel for the accused persons to secure bail for them through oral application, failed as Justice Faaji ruled that they should be remanded in prisons pending further hearing.
The case was adjourned till June 8, 2015 for hearing of the bail applications.

HENRY E. J Williams

Author & Editor

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