N8bn CBN scam: Court discharges convict

Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, yesterday discharged Kayode Philip-Togun, one of the defendants in the case of alleged N8bn currency scam from further prosecution.

Philip-Togun was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison by Justice Joyce Abdulmaleek in another CBN case after he had pleaded guilty and opted for plea bargain. Others who were convicted in the matter are Ademola Oni, Tope Akintade and Esther Afolabi. Ayo-Emmanuel also struck out the charges against Philip-Togun, the third defendant in the case in accordance with Section 108 (2A) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

“In accordance with Section 108 (2A) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the suit instituted against the third defendant is hereby struck out and he is discharged accordingly,” the judge said. NAN reports that Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Olaniran, Ibrahim Salami and Emmanuel Ordia, along with others, were charged in 2015 with conspiracy, forgery, unlawful conversion, stealing and re-circulation of mutilated currency at Ibadan branch of CBN.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Adebisi Adeniyi, said that the commission had duly considered the plight of the convict and the need to drop further charges against him. Meanwhile, an attempt to stall continuation of trial of the other defendants by counsel to the second and third accused persons, Mr. R.M. Bature, was dismissed by the court.

Bature prayed the court to adjourn the trial because Muniru Olaniran, his client, was ill. In his contention, the EFCC lawyer stated that the defence counsel had not tendered any evidence before the court to show that his client was truly sick. Similarly, Mr. Olayinka Bolanle, counsel to the first defendant, Babalola, orally applied that the judge lacked further jurisdiction to entertain the matter since he had already been transferred to Federal High Court, Lagos Division.

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