A federal lawmaker, Mr Lanre Odubote, has applauded the courage and forthrightness of a Federal High Court judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba in discharging and acquitting the speaker of the Lagos state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Adeyemi ikuforiji, of money laundering charges.
Odubote, who is representing Epe Federal Constitutency in the House of Representatives, said the comment of the judge that ‘the trial was a joke taken too far’ (by political enemies) was instructive.
He made the remarks in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, 27th September, 2014.
According to the lawmaker, “the judge said the trial of Ikuforiji was based on trial and error approach and that it is a joke taken too far. The prosecution with respect has misconstrued and misinterpreted the provisions of the money laundering law”.
He stated further that: “Nigeria is a federation practising federalism, each tier of government operates within the law, and one arm should not in the name of investigation try to muzzle the other arm without any iota of truth.
“This is short of asking for an unreserved apology to be tendered to the Speaker for the unwarranted and undeserved embarrassment caused him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“The Speaker is not only vindicated, but his political profile has been boosted and his political figure further popularised.
“The judgment is phenomenal and instructive; instructive to those framing up people on spurious and frivolous allegations.
“I see the verdict as a triumph of good over evil, truth over falsehood, veneration over vendatta and hate”.
Odubote, a former Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, urged his erstwhile boss not to be cowed or dismayed by the trial, but should continue with renewed vigour in the service to humanity.
He said: “He should be stronger and better encouraged to stand firm and on the side of the people and the law always”.
Odubote described the judge as a robust figure, a knowlegeable and disciplined officer, whose judgment has brought to light some truths about the Money Laundering Act of 2004 as a repealed law.
“The judge did not allow the political environment to affect his judgment and his professional career.
“To the highly reverred lawyers-Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Mr Tunde Akirinmisi, I give kudos to them for their brilliance in proving the Speaker’s innocence”.
Ikuforiji was charged alongside with his aide, Oyebode Atoyebi, on an amended 54-count charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of about N600 million to which they pleaded not guilty.
Three judges tried the case: Justice John Tsoho, Justice Okechukwu Okeke and Jusitce Buba.