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Alleged N650m Fraud: Court Dismisses Ex-Minister’s Application



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Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos has dismissed an application filed by a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Jumoke Akinjide and her co-defendants in an alleged N650 million fraud case.

Akinjide is standing trial along with Senator Ayo Adeseun and a People’s Democratic Party, PDP stalwart, Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, on an amended 24-count charge bordering on money laundering.

At the last adjourned sitting on February 6, 2019, Micheal F. Lana, counsel for Adeseun, as well as Akinola Oladeji, counsel for Otiti, had brought an application before the court seeking that the Judge should disqualify himself from the trial on the grounds that he was a former employee of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and would, therefore, be biased.

Ruling on the application today, March 6, 2019 Justice Hassan held that the application was frivolous and an abuse of court process.

He said: “The allegation of me being biased in the case due to the fact that I was an employee of the Commission is meant to blackmail me and to intimidate the court.

“But this will not be allowed by any litigant.

“By the time the Commission commenced investigations regarding this case and when defendants were arrested, I had been appointed as a judge and I was no more with the EFCC as an employee.

“Therefore, I see no conflict or interest of the court in this matter.”

The case has been adjourned to April 18, 2019 for continuation of trial.

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