Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has adjourned the trial of Olajumoke Akinjide, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, to March 6, 2019.
Akinjide, alongside Senator Ayo Adeseun and a Peoples Democratic Party stalwart, Chief Olanrewaju Otiti, is facing trial on an amended 24-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of N650 million.
At Wednesday’s proceeding, Akinjide’s counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), moved a motion asking the court to release his client’s international passport in order for her to be able to travel to the United Kingdom, for her daughter’s wedding.
The application was granted by the court.
Counsel to Adeseun and Otiti also brought an application before the court seeking that the Judge should recuse himself from the trial on the grounds that he is a former employee of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and would, therefore, be biased.
Consequently, Justice Hassan fixed March 6, to rule on the application.
The defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Hassan on January 16, 2018, on the amended charges.
A prosecution witness, Usman Zakari, had told the court in his evidence that the defendants collected the money at the Dugbe branch of Fidelity Bank in Ibadan, Oyo State, on the standing instruction of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Investigations by the EFCC had revealed that the N650 million was part of a total sum of N23 billion, which Diezani had allegedly warehoused in the bank in the buildup to the 2015 general election.