The Supreme Court, yesterday, ordered the retrial a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, on a N338million money laundering charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC.
Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, had in his ruling in September 2014, exonerated Ikuforiji of the charges.
The lower court held that the anti-graft agency failed to establish a prima facie case against Ikuforiji and ex-aide, Oyebode Atoyebi.
Consequently, he set-aside, the 56 counts charge against him.
Dissatisfied with the Federal High Court’s judgment, the EFCC, appealed to the Court of Appeal, which, in November 2016, overturned Justice Buba’s verdict and ordered that Ikuforiji and his former aide be tried afresh before another judge.
The defendants had filed separate appeals against the Court of Appeal’s decision and headed to the Supreme Court in 2016.
When the matter was called yesterday, the 5-man panel of the Supreme court, headed by Justice Mary Peter-Odilli, unanimously ruled for a retrial by the lower court.
The court also ordered that the case be re-assigned to another judge other than Justice Buba who set aside the matter.
The apex court had, earlier in December 2017, made similar orders of retrial and re-assignment of the case to another judge in its judgment on the appeal filed by Ikuforiji’s ex-aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, with whom the former Speaker was charged, tried and absolved at the Federal High Court