The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today re-arraigned a former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two others in an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan over alleged N11.5bn fraud.
Naija News learnt that the other defendants are a former Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Senator Hosea Agboola; and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola.
Naija News also gathered that the defendants are facing 11 counts which borders on conspiracy, handing out contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretense, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property, among others.
Alao-Akala the former governor of Oyo State, was said to have awarded a road contract worth N8.5bn between 2007 and 2009 to Pentagon Engineering Services. This statement was made by the EFCC’s counsel, Dr. B. Ubi in court.
Ubi claimed that the firm, owned by Babalola, handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local governments without budgetary provision.
The former governor was also accussed of ordering the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the 33 local governments in the state to the tune of N3.5bn.
He was also accussed of conspiring with Ayoola to withdraw N2.9bn from Oyo State Local Government Joint Account.
The prosecutor told the court that Alao-Akala also illegally acquired some property on Old Bodija road, off Rotimi Williams road, when he was the governor of the state.
He said the offences contravened Section 22 (4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and Section 1 (18) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Mr. Hakeem Afolabi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and counsel to Alao-Akala and Babalola begged the court to exercise its discretion in granting bail to the defendants.
He said the matter was first filed on October 11, 2011 before Justice Moshood Abas and bail was granted after the defendants met the conditions.
Afolabi said Alao-Akala was granted bail in the sum of N5m with two sureties in like sum; while the other defendants were granted bail in the sum of N3m each with two sureties in like sum.
Afolabi begged the court to allow the defendants to enjoy their earlier bail conditions
Justice Muniru Owolabi granted the defendants’ prayers and adjourned the case till April 16 for trial.