Court Orders EFCC to Arrest Ex-NIA DG, Wife

1

By Akinwale Akintunde

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court Thursday, ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ayodele Oke, and his wife, Folashade.

The judge made the order following an oral application by Counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, seeking bench warrant against Oke and his wife after the couple failed to come to court to face their trial for the second time.

The anti-graft agency had planned to arraign the defendants last Friday but the duo refused to come to court even though the EFCC counsel, Oyedepo, was around, forcing the court to adjourn the case to Thursday, February 7.

EFCC had filed a four-count fraud charge against the couple, following the recovery of $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 from Flat 7B, No. 16, Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos allegedly owned by them.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in October 2017, sacked Oke alongside the immediate-past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, following a report of investigations by a panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, into allegations of fraud leveled against them.

When the matter came up Thursday, Oyedepo told Justice Aneke that the defendants could not be found and that they had also refused to pick calls from EFCC operatives.

It was based on this development that the judge granted the EFCC’s application, ruling that “this application is not without merit”.

The charge against Oke and Folashade, reads:
“That you, Amb. Ayodele Oke, Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke on or about the 12th day of April 2017 in Lagos concealed the sum of $43, 449, 947, 000 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi Lagos which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court indirectly used the sum of $1, 658, 000 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to acquire Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers, Ikoyi Lagos which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly retained $160, 777, 136. 85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Amb. Ayodele Oke and Mrs. Folasade Ayodele Oke between 25th day of August 2015 and 2nd day of September 2015 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this court directly converted $160, 777, 136. 85 property of the Federal Government of Nigeria to your own use which sum you reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: criminal breach of trust and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”