N2.2bn fraud: Court overrules Fayose’s objection to change of witness

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Court today overrule former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose objection to change witness of alleged N2.2 Billion Fraud.

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday ruled that the Head of Operations, Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Mr Johnson Abidakun, can testify as a prosecution witness in the ongoing N2.2bn fraud trial of a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and a firm, Spotless Investment Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission listed Abidakun as a replacement for a bullion van driver with Zenith Bank, Ado-Ekiti branch, Adewale Aladegbola, who had earlier testified in the case.

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The anti-graft agency claimed that Fayose had gone behind to compromise the bullion van driver, hence, it's decision to drop him and use Abidakun as a replacement.
But Fayose and Spotless Investment Limited had, through his lawyers, Messrs Ola Olanipekun, SAN, and Olalekan Ojo, SAN, filed an interlocutory summons in objection to the EFCC’s move to change witness.
The defence counsel contended that allowing a change of witness was an abuse of court processes by the prosecution.

In a short ruling on Monday, Justice Aneke agreed with the prosecution and dismissed the objection by the defence.

The judge ruled,
“This is a fresh trial, the parties are at liberty to call any witness that they desire in proof of their case.
As a result, the defendants/applicants’ interlocutory summons is dismissed for lack of merit.”
The matter was subsequently adjourned till May 5 and 6 for the continuation of trial.

In the charges, the EFCC alleged, among other things, that Fayose, on June 17, 2014, “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.”

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