EFCC vs Lagos Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji: Court adjourns case indefinitely!

Justice Okechukwu Okeke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Wednesday, adjourned indefinitely the trial of Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The trial judge blamed the adjournment on the prosecution’s “deliberate act” to delay the trial.

“This matter has suffered series of adjournments all at the instance of prosecution. It is a deliberate attempt by prosecution to disrupt hearing in the case and blackmail this court,” said the judge.

“I hereby adjourn this case sine die (indefinitely). Whenever the prosecution is ready to diligently handle their case, hearing notices will be issued, he added.

The judge’s fury at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, underscored the levity with which the prosecution had handled the trial since inception.

Mr. Ikuforiji and his personal assistant, Oyebode Atoyebi, had been standing trial since March 1, 2012, accused of laundering about N500 million.

But the matter suffered several – and sometimes frivolous – adjournments forcing the trial judge, who retires in May, to fix about 10 consecutive trial days.

In protest, Godwin Obla, the EFCC’s lawyer withdrew from the case, saying that the court did not put into consideration his commitment in other court matters.

“It is important that I draw His Lordship’s attention to the fact that, regrettably, the new dates didn’t take into consideration the dates that I was previously committed in other legal proceedings before various courts and tribunals,” Mr. Obla had stated in his withdrawal letter addressed to the court.

“The new dates clearly conflict with those long-scheduled obligations,” he added.

Though the EFCC had insisted that Mr. Ikuforiji’s prosecution is “top priority,” the trial’s series of adjournments led to critics accusing the anti graft commission of collusion with the speaker’s party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN.

There were also unsubstantiated allegations of the party’s intense pressure and financial inducement on the trial judge to make him “throw the matter out of court.”

Last November, the court failed to sit on two scheduled dates after the prosecution failed to appear on both occasions.


  1. SMH
    This can only happen in Nigeria! Corruption ev erywhere, so pathetic

  2. This EFCC is a toothless bulldog in my opinion. corrupted EFCC trying to fight corruption.


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