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N2.5bn ‘fraud’: Judge’s absence stalls Ogun ex-speaker’s trial

Absence of the judge has stalled the hearing of an alleged fraud case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former…

Absence of the judge has stalled the hearing of an alleged fraud case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo and three others.

Justice A.A Okeke of the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, who’s in charge of the case, failed to sit on Wednesday.

EFCC had dragged Oluomo and two others, Dayo Samuel and Adeyemo Adedeji, before the Federal High Court sitting in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, for alleged diversion of N2.5billion.

The anti-graft agency had accused Oluomo and others of forging receipts and signatures to divert billions of naira from the legislative house.

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The agency had filed an 11-count charge bordering on forgery, conspiracy and stealing from the state assembly against the former Speaker and others.

But, the court has not been able to hear the case for different reasons.

On November 21, 2022, pre-election matters made it impossible for the court to commence hearing of the case.

In January, 2023 the matter could not be heard because the judge was reportedly indisposed.

Likewise, on March 29, 2023, the case was stalled when Justice Abdulmalik was posted out of Ogun State for post-election yribunal duties.

Also, three months ago when the case was called, the court could not hear the case following the absence of the EFCC’s counsel.

Our correspondent who was at the court on Wednesday was told the court could not sit and the case adjourned till 29th and 30th of May.

The principal witness in the case, who is also the former deputy speaker, Hon. Dare Kadiri, claimed that he had fled the country over alleged threat to his life and that of his family members.

Kadiri said although his lawyers would continue to attend proceedings in the matter, he had run out of the country for now.

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