The Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has refused the application by an ex-governor, Adebayo Alao-Akala, and the Chief Executive Officer of Pentagon Consults, Olufemi Babalola, for a stay of proceedings pending the outcome of an appeal at the Supreme Court.
Alao-Akala alongside a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hosea Agboola, a contractor and Babalola are standing trial for offences bordering on alleged criminal conspiracy and fraudulent practices to the tune of N11.5 billion.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Monday said they were earlier arraigned on an 11-count charge by the anti-graft agency.
After the arraignment, their trial was stalled following their applications to stay further proceedings/trial pending the determination of their appeals at the Supreme Court by counsel to the first and third defendants, A.O. Afolabi (SAN) and A. Ogunwole (SAN).
Their motions were however opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Ben Ubi who urged the court to refuse the applications and order for accelerated hearing of the case in accordance with the intendment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Oyo State, 2016 and Section 19(2)(b) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(Establishment) Act, 2004.
In his ruling, on Monday, Justice M. L. Owolabi said: “stay of proceedings will do more damage to the case which has been pending since 2011 and ordered the prosecution to assemble all its witnesses at the next date.”
The case was then adjourned to June 29 and July 3, 2018, for trial.