The Federal High Court today has transferred the trial of the Ekiti State former Governor, Ayodele Fayose, who was charged with an alleged N6.9 billion fraud, to a new judge.
The CJ, Justice Adamu Abdu-Kafarati, transferred the case from the former judge, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.
This was after a petition by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), seeking a transfer of the case was filed.
Recall that on Oct. 22, 2018, Fayose was arraigned by the EFCC, alongside a company, Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offense.
Fayose had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was therefore granted bail on Oct. 24, 2018, in the sum of N50 million with sureties in like sum.
The prosecution on Nov 19 opened the trial and had so far called 13 witnesses out of 15 listed.
On March 20, a drama started in court during the trial, between the trial judge, and EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs.
The judge had opined that the prosecutor was not doing a good job, adding that he was not competent to evaluate the court’s ruling.
However, the prosecutor argued that he had always carried out his duties diligently and was never derogated by any court.
Meanwhile, during the last proceedings on May 10, the 13th prosecution witness, Mr Adewale Aladegbola, who was a former driver of a bullion van, brought fought evidence which the prosecutor described as being contrary to his extrajudicial statement to the commission.
He further asked the court adjourn the case to enable him to make the necessary application on the situation after describing his witness as ”hostile”.
Continuation of the trial was scheduled to hold June 10.
However, the CJ conveyed the transfer of the case from Justice Olatoregun to Justice Aneke, by a letter dated May 23, a copy of which was obtained by newsmen, NAN reports.
The CJ said: “I refer to the petition of EFCC on this case and your Lordship’s comments thereto.
“It is apparent that the prosecution has lost confidence in the judge trying this case and justice must not only be done but must be seen to have been done, I hereby transfer this case to Hon. Justice C. J. Aneke for hearing.”
A new date for the case before Aneke has however not been confirmed.
The matter will consequently begin afresh before the new judge, as the defendant will take his plea again.