Rashidi Ladoja, former Governor of Oyo State, has been acquitted of a N4.7billion fraud case by Justice Mohammed Idris of Federal High Court, Lagos.
The case, which was filed in 2008, came to an end on Friday, with the former Governor cleared of the 11-count charge laid against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Idris claimed that the case was badly prosecuted and charges are full of contradictions.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Idris, reading the 250-page judgment, maintained that the EFCC could not prove a single ingredient in the 11-count charges.
“I examined 914 tendered documents forensically. The court found the defendants not guilty,” the Judge ruled.
Ladoja was accused of converting N1,932,940,032.48 belonging to Oyo State to his personal use through the Guaranty Trust Bank account of a company, Heritage Apartments Limited, despite allegedly knowing that it was proceeds of criminal activity.
He was also said to have removed £600,000 from the state coffers in 2007 and sent it to Bimpe Ladoja in London, as well as allegedly buying an armoured Land Cruiser jeep with N42million for himself using public funds.
The anti-graft agency also said he converted N728,600,000 and another N77,850,000 at different times in 2007, and allegedly transferred N77, 850,000 to Bistrum Investments, which he nominated to help him purchase a property named Quarter 361 in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The alleged offence, EFCC said, contravenes sections 17(a) and18 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004, punishable under sections 14(1), 16(a) (b) and 18(2).