EFCC re-arraigns ex-governor Ladoja on alleged N4.7b fraud

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has re-arraigned former Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State.
Ladoja was arraigned alongside one of his aide, Waheed Akanbi, for an alleged fraud of amounting to the sum of N4.7billion.
In the charge sheet made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Wednesday, the EFCC claimed that Ladoja and Akanbi committed the offence sometime in 2007.
The charge marked FHC/L/336c/08 was filed against them in 2008 and they were first arraigned before Justice A.R. Mohammed eight years ago.
Their re-arraignment before Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos followed the dismissal of their appeal against the charges which went all the way to the Supreme Court over a period of seven years.
Ladoja appeared in court in a green Ankara native suit (Agbada), a brown cap and black shoes. Akanbi was dressed in a black suit.
The eight counts pressed against them bordered on money laundering and unlawful conversion of funds belonging to Oyo State to their own.
In one of the counts, Ladoja and Akanbi were accused of converting N1,932,940,032.48 billion belonging to Oyo State to their personal use, using a Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited.
The EFCC claimed that they retained the money sometime in 2007, despite their knowledge that it was proceeds of a criminal conduct.
Ladoja was also accused of removing £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja, who was at the time in London.
The ex-governor was also accused of converting a sum of N42million belonging to the state to his own and subsequently used it to purchase an armoured Land Cruiser jeep.
He was also accused of converting a sum of N728, 600, 000million and another N77, 850, 000million at separate times in 2007 to his own.
The EFCC claimed that Ladoja transferred the N77, 850, 000 to one Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361, Ibadan, in Oyo State.
The EFCC told the court that Ladoja and Akanbi acted contrary to sections 17(a) and18(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004 and were liable to be punished under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2) of the same Act.

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