A five-man panel of the Supreme Court on Friday, January 12, 2018 ordered the re-trial of a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, who was charged with an alleged N338m fraud.
The apex court had reserved judgment till Friday to determine whether or not Ikuforiji should be tried afresh, as ordered by the Court of Appeal.
The panel headed by Justice Mary Peter-Odili unanimously ruled that the case be re-assigned to another judge of the Federal High Court instead of Justice Ibrahim Buba, who had earlier absolved Ikuforiji of the charge.
Justice Buba had, in a ruling in September 2014, held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, failed to establish a prima facie case against Ikuforiji and his former aide, Oyebode Atoyebi.
The judge had also dismissed the 56-count charge preferred against the accused by the EFCC.
Dissatisfied with Justice Buba’s ruling, the EFCC appealed to the Court of Appeal, which upturned the ruling.
The appellate court had also ordered both Ikuforiji and Atoyebi to be tried by another judge.
However, in 2016, both Ikuforiji and Atoyebi, with whom he was charged, tried and absolved of the charge by Justice Buba had approached the apex court, where they filed separate appeals against the decision of the Court of Appeal.