A former member of the Kwara State House of Assembly member, who represented Molete state constituency, Mohammed Adebayo, on Thursday, February 6, failed to stop criminal proceedings preferred against him by the Ilorn Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In July 2019, the EFCC had arraigned the embattled former lawmaker before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of Kwara State High Court, Ilorin, on a six-count charge bordering on land fraud.
One of the charges against him reads, “That you, Mohammed Adebayo, sometimes in July 2013, in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N950,000 from one Mary Omowunmi Kolade, on the false pretence that three plots of land (situated at Malete, Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State), which you sold to her, belonged to you, a representation you knew to be false, and which is punishable under Section 1 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences.”
He had pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges.
At the last adjourned date, defence counsel, I. Abdulazeez, had drew the attention of the judge to a letter written by the nominal complainants in the case.
He said, “The nominal complainants have written a letter to the EFCC on their intention to withdraw their petition against Adebayo.”
He therefore prayed the court to strike out the case and discharge the defendant.
Responding,counsel to the EFCC, Sesan Ola, opposed the application to have the case striken out, stating that the EFCC was the complainant in the matter, and had no intention of withdrawing the case.
Ola further argued that the application lacked merit, and that “the nominal complainant” was not known in law.
He said, “The EFCC is the complainant in this case, and we have two witnesses in court, ready to testify,” urging the court to reject the application of the defence.
Justice Oyinloye, in rejecting the defence counsel’s applucation said, “This application lacked merit; it is only the Attorney-General of the Federation who has powers to withdraw the charge, not the nominal complainants or an accused person.”
He described the steps taken by the defence and the “nominal complainants” as “very weird, uncanny and strange” in the administrative criminal justice system.
He thereafter adjourned the case till February 26, for the prosecution to open its case.