An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday struck out a N5.6 billion pension scam suit against Alhaja Kudirat Adeleke, a former Head of Service in the state, and 11 others for lack of diligent prosecution.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had instituted the case against the defendants.
Other defendants in the suit are Muili Aderemi, Iyabo Giwa, Adesina Ayoade, Oguntayo Banji, Adebiyi Musenbiq, Muili Adedamola, Adeduntan Johnson, Bosede Johnson, Kareem Rasheed, Olujimi Adebayo and Adewale Kehinde.
Justice Laniran Akintola said he was striking out the case for lack of diligent prosecution by the EFCC and the submission of the respondents’ counsel.
Akintola noted that the absence of the prosecution team had resulted in three adjournments, adding that the refusal to notify the court the reason for the absence was a clear disrespect.
The judge said that the attitude of the prosecution team indicated that it was not interested in prosecuting the matter and consequently struck out the suit.
Earlier, the counsel to Adeleke, Mr Richard Ogunwole (SAN), had told the court that the matter had been on since 2014 and had passed through different judges.
Ogunwole submitted that there was no reason to continue adjourning the matter citing Section 353(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
He prayed the court to strike out the matter for lack of diligent prosecution while the other respondents’ counsel aligned with his submission.
Adeleke and others were arraigned by the EFCC for allegedly defrauding the Oyo State Local Government Staff Pension Board of N5.6billion.
The defendants were arraigned on a 213-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, fraud and forgery.