Court Orders Ex-Governor To Face Money Laundering Trial

A Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has powers to prosecute former Oyo State Governor, Rashidi Ladoja, for money laundering.photo

The court refused an appeal filed by Ladoja through his counsel, Dr. Dapo Olanipekun, praying that the N4.7 billion money laundering charge instituted against him by the EFCC be quashed, following the refusal of a Federal High Court to dismiss the 10- count charge of money laundering hanging on his neck.

The Appellate Court in its judgment delivered by Justice Sidi Bage disallowed the appeal and ordered the former governor to continue his trial at the lower court.

Justice Bage in his lead judgment unanimously adopted by other two justices held that the EFCC has power to prosecute under Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2004.

The panel held that Section 14 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2004, gives the commission powers to prosecute the former governor.

The court ruled that Section 7(2) of the EFCC Act also empowers the commission to prosecute money laundering offences.

But Ladoja through his counsel has vowed to challenge the judgment at the Supreme Court.

The former governor had in his appeal argued that the proof of evidence accompanying the charges, instituted before the trial court failed to link him with the alleged crime, adding that it did not establish any prima facie case against him.

He prayed the appellate court to reverse the ruling of the Federal High Court and quash the charges.

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