Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has rejected the proposed out-of-court settlement filed by a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, and others, who are standing trial over alleged N650 million fraud.
Akinjide, alongside Senator Ayo Adesheun and Mrs. Olanrewaju Otiti, is standing trial before Justice Muslim Sule Hassan of a Federal High Court in Lagos on charges of fraud.
At the resumed trial yesterday, EFCC’s lawyer, Nnaemeka Omewa, told the court that his agency received a proposal for out-of-court settlement from the accused persons’ counsel.
Responding to the prosecutor’s submission, Akinjide’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, confirmed that the three accused persons proposed to the EFCC in line with Section 14 of the agency’s Act, adding that they were just being informed of EFCC’s decision on the said proposal.
He told the court that they were confident that the case was a sham and will be defended vigorously, as it is politically motivated, unnecessary and waste of resources.
In the same vein, Senator Ayo Ademola Adeseun’s lawyer, Mr. Michael Lana, described the refusal of the proposed settlement of the accused persons, as “a betrayal of trust,” which a lawyer should not be involved.
“Oyedepo made a proposal to us, which we believed, and withdrew the suit against the EFCC and himself. On the first arraignment, the EFCC and Oyedepo agreed that the defendants should not be arraigned, as we agreed to settle.
“It’s sacrosanct ethically such a thing is not condone in legal profession. Oyedepo was the initiator of the settlement; we are highly disappointed in Rotimi Oyedepo,” Lana said.
Ruling on all the submissions, Justice Sule, said: “I have listened to the arguments, since the settlement had broken down, I will go to the trial of this case. Application for the third defendant is not ripe for hearing; it shall be taken at the next adjourned date.”
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till March 8 and 9, for continuation of trial.