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    Posted March 18, 2014 by
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    EFCC Details How Assembly Speaker, Ikuforiji, Lavished Lagos Funds On Foreign Trips, Wife, Others

     

    The trial of Adeyemi Ikuforiji, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, continued Tuesday with the prosecution witness detailing how the defendants allegedly laundered millions of Naira. Adebayo Adeniyi, the EFCC witness, told the court how the defendants collected N13.5 million for honorarium, N4.5 million for renovation of the Speaker’s residence, and N1.5 million for the Speaker’s Guest House every month for six consecutive months. Mr. Ikuforiji and Oyebode Atoyebi, his aide, are facing a 54-count amended charge of money laundering amounting to over N600 million. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, accused the Speaker and his aide of receiving the money from the Lagos State House of Assembly without passing through a financial institution. The trial was adjourned last January for the prosecution to provide a summarised version of the monies collected by Mr. Ikuforiji and his aide. But on Tuesday, Godwin Obla, counsel to the EFCC, said that he would rather continue with his previous method to avoid any grounds for appeal. It was a painstaking effort that required Mr. Obla to go through each of the transactions with the witness. The judge admitted that, but overruled the defence’s plea that the prosecution tabulate the relevant sections of the transactions. “We’ve lost time. We vacated three days for that exercise to be done,” said Ibrahim Buba, the trial judge. “What I understand the prosecution to be doing is trying to go through the records viz a viz each count of the allegation. They are entitled to do so. “It is indeed difficult, if not laborious,” Mr. Buba added.   2011 TRANSACTIONS Mr. Adeniyi continued his testimony by stating how the Lagos House of Assembly paid millions of naira to Mr. Ikuforiji; his wife, Mayowa; his orderly; his personal assistant; as well as the state’s Deputy Speaker. All the monies were collected by Mr. Atoyebi and paid for in cash, the witness said. On July 14, 2011, N5.4 million was paid to Mr. Ikuforiji for a trip to San Diego, California; his personal assistant and orderly collected N1.3 million and N1.2 million respectively, according to Mr. Adeniyi. On August 1, 2011, N4.4 million was paid to the Speaker as “cost of allowance”; his personal assistant and orderly pocketed N1.2 million and N1.1 million respectively. Two days later, N10 million was paid to the Speaker for Ramadan, the witness said. On August, 2011, N6.4 million was paid to Mayowa Ikuforiji, the Speaker’s wife; and N1.3 million to the wife’s orderly, the witness said. Between January and June 2011, N13.5 million was paid as honorarium, every month, to the Speaker, Mr. Adeniyi added. He said N4 million and N1 million were also paid monthly, within the stated period, for the renovation of the Speaker’s official residence and guest house respectively. Asked why there were columns with Cheque Numbers in the cash register, Mr. Adeniyi responded that: “What they do is that a cheque is raised in most cases in the name of the Permanent Secretary and cashed from the bank. “It is this cash that is eventually paid and registered in this document, the details of payments.” 2010 TRANSACTIONS Between February and March 2010, N7 million was paid to Mr. Ikuforiji for the maintenance of the Speaker’s official residence; another N3 million was paid him for the maintenance of his guest house, according to the EFCC witness. He said N1.7 million was paid to the Speaker’s wife on May 6, 2010; the wife’s aide received N647,428 six months later. Other monies paid to the Speaker, according to the witness, in 2010 include N1.2 million on May 12 for an emergency meeting in Abuja; N5.2 million on May 1 for a trip to Spain (for the Speaker and his aides); N3 million on June 21 for Umrah; N1.7 million on July 14 for the purchase of a Kia Rio; N4.2 million on August for the purchase of furniture for the Speaker’s office. Others were N4.1 million for ceremonial out

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