The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) could
not proceed yesterday with its planned arraignment of former National
Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director- General Ambassador Ayodele Oke and his wife
Folasade were absent at the Federal High Court in Lagos as the whereabouts of
the couple was unknown.
They were to appear before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, although
the case was not formally listed for the day. The court was said have been
informed that Oke and wife would not be present as they were not in EFCC’s
custody, hence the non-listing of the charge. Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi
Oyedepo, was in court to arrange for a new date for arraignment.
It was learnt that the arraignment will now take place on Wednesday,
February 6. Unconfirmed reports said they might have left the country. An
EFCC’s spokesman in Lagos, Babatunde Suleiman, confirmed that the case was not
He, however, said he was unaware of the whereabouts of Oke
and his wife. Asked about reports that they might have travelled out of the
country and whether they were ever in EFCC’s custody, he said: “I can’t comment
on their whereabouts, please. But I will get back to you on this.”
Oke and his wife were charged in connection with the $43,
449, 947, 000 found in Flat 7B, No. 16 Osborne Road, Osborne Towers in Ikoyi,
Justice Muslim Hassan
had on June 6, 2017, granted a final forfeiture order of the funds since no one
appeared before the court to claim them.
The four-count charge against the couple was signed by
Oyedepo, Nnaemeka Omewa and Idris Abubakar Mohammed. EFCC, in the Proof of
Evidence, revealed how Flat 7B was bought for $1, 658,000 (N596, 880,000).
It said one Alhaji Shehu Usman Anka will give evidence of
the receipt of the sum of $1, 658,000 from the wife of the ex-NIA boss. The
anti-graft agency also said that the agency got about $289, 202, 382.00 from
the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
It added that one Benjamin Kiksenenso will give evidence of
how he was instructed to go to the CBN to collect the $289, 202, 382.00.