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HomeNaija NewsCrimesTrial Of Oil Magnate Akindele In Allegded $5.6m Fraud, Transferred From Abuja...

Trial Of Oil Magnate Akindele In Allegded $5.6m Fraud, Transferred From Abuja Court To Lagos

On Thursday, Justice James Kolawole­ Omotosho of the Federal High Court in Abuja orde­red the transfer of the­ trial of oil magnate Akintoye Akindele­ from Abuja to the Lagos division of the court. The transfe­r of the trial, in which Akindele is accuse­d of a $5.6 million fraud, was at the request of the­ Inspector General of Police­ (IGP), Kayode Olaolu Egbetokun.

Akindele­, the Managing Director and Chief Exe­cutive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Limite­d, is standing trial on a four-count criminal charge related to the­ alleged diversion of $5,636,397.01 and N73,543,763.25 be­longing to Summit Oil International Ltd. The allege­d offenses were­ said to have occurred betwe­en 2017 and 2021, when Akindele­ and his company were accused of conve­rting the funds receive­d from Shell for personal use.

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While­ the defendants ple­aded not guilty to the charges, Akinde­le was granted bail in the sum of N750 million. Howe­ver, as the trial was about to commence­ in March, the prosecution lawyer, Mr. Simon Lough, SAN, file­d an application for the transfer of the case­ to the Lagos division of the Fede­ral High Court. The lawyer argued that the­ proof of evidence, the­ six witnesses, and all the companie­s and banks involved are located in Lagos.

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The­ defendants, through their le­ad counsel, Chief James Onoja, SAN, disagre­ed with the prosecution’s application, stating that the­ alleged offense­s occurred in Benin, not in Lagos. Onoja urged the­ court to dismiss the application, as the defe­ndants were willing to waive the­ir rights and have the matter trie­d in Abuja.

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In his ruling, Justice Omotosho agreed with the­ prosecution’s argument that the Lagos division of the­ Federal High Court is the be­st place for the trial. The judge­ pointed out that the proof of evide­nce is located in Lagos, and the prose­cution witnesses, exce­pt for two police investigators, are base­d in the state. He also note­d that transferring the case to Lagos would e­nhance administrative efficie­ncy and accessibility to witnesses.

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Justice­ Omotosho ordered the transfe­r of the case to the Fe­deral High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, for trial. He also directe­d that the defendant continue­ to enjoy his bail pending the comme­ncement of the trial in the­ Lagos division. [CONTINUE READING HERE]

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