KWARA, Nigeria – The state high court, sitting in Ilorin, the state capital, Wednesday refused an oral application brought by a former member of the state House of Assembly, Mohammed Adebayo seeking to terminate the criminal charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The Ilorin Zonal office of the anti-graft agency had on August 1, 2019, arraigned Adebayo on a six-count charge bordering on land fraud and obtaining money under false pretence before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the state high court.
The charge read: “That you, Mohammed Adebayo, sometime in July 2013, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud and obtained the sum of N950,000 from one Mary Omowunmi Kolade on the false pretence that three plots of land (situate at Malete, Moro LGA of Kwara state) which you sold to her belonged to you, a representation you knew to be false, punishable under Section 1 of the advanced fee fraud and other fraud-related offences.”
The accused person had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resumed hearing of the matter Wednesday, counsel to the defendant,Barrister I.Abdulazzez, said ” my Lord, the victims in this matter had written a letter to the prosecution to withdraw their complaints against the defendant, in the light of the absence of the prosecution, I urge this honourable court to terminate the charges.”
Justice Oyinloye in a short ruling said: ” in the interest of justice and fair hearing, the charge will not be terminated on the basis of prosecution counsel’s absence, this honourable court shall adjourn this matter while hearing notice shall be issued on the lawyer.”
Justice Oyinloye then adjourned trial on the matter till Dec. 11, 2019, for the continuation of trial.