A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Jumoke Akinjide, has returned N650 million to the Federal Government.
The Ex-minister’s lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), told the court on Tuesday that there was no point wasting the time and resources of the court since the sum contained in the charge had already been refunded and that his client had plans for an out-of-court settlement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had preferred a fraud and money laundering charge against her over the campaign money for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State received from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Chief Ayorinde said,
“My Lord, the charge before this court is essentially in relation to the PDP campaign funds for the 2015 elections in Oyo State. Before trial commenced, the defendants, who were chieftains of the PDP in Oyo at the time, acting on the collective decision of the party, decided to refund the monies mentioned in the charge. I have had talks with the lead counsel for the prosecution and we think it wise not to subject this matter to further adjudication so as not to waste the time and resources of the court. In that light, I have suggested that all counsel meet to look at the way forward on this charge, especially considering the fact that the monies complained of has already been refunded. My application, therefore, is that this court adjourns further hearing pending the outcome of discussion by both counsel’’.
Responding, the EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, said he is not opposed to an adjournment to allow for discussion between parties. He also confirmed to the court that the anti-graft agency had recovered the sum of N650 million, but added that the money was recovered from the first accused and not from chieftains or principal members of the PDP.
“I confirmed the discussion with the silk this morning. But I want to say that the matter before the court is not principally about campaign funds. I also confirmed that the commission had recovered the sum of N650 million, not from the chieftains and principal members of the PDP, but rather from the first defendant (Oloye Jumoke Akinjide).
Section 270 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 allow parties to discuss. In view of the fact that the silk has applied for an adjournment to allow for discussion, we would not be objecting to his application”.
The former minister and two others are facing a N650m money laundering charge brought against them by the EFCC. The agency had slammed a 24-count charge of money laundering on Akinjide, Sen. Ayo Adeseun and a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Olarewaju Otti. Also listed in the charge is former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who is said to be “at large”.
After listening to the submissions of both parties in the matter, The Presiding judge, Justice Hassan adjourned further hearing in the matter till February 22.