A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has threatened to order the arrest of the Attorney-General (AG) of the State, Oluwaseun Abimbola, and the Director of Investment in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Yinka Fatoki, for failing to produce some vital documents concerning the alleged criminal trial of former Oyo State Governor, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja.
The Ibadan High Chief is facing trial for allegedly converting N4.7billion from the state treasury to his personal use.
He was charged along with Waheed Akanbi on eight count charges of money laundering and unlawful conversion of public funds.
According to an online news platform – Themetrolawyers, Justice Mohammed Idris, while reacting to a claim by Ladoja’s counsel, Bolaji Onilenla, said that the AG and Mr. Fatoki have refused to respond to that order, and that the officials have given no reason for their non-compliance.
Mr. Onilenla also affirmed that the documents are vital in the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Adewale Atanda, who was the Senior Special Executive Assistant to Ladoja.
Onilenla was quoted to have informed the court: “We have written letter to some Oyo State government officials, specifically the AG of the state and one Mr. Fatoki but till now, no response for the production of those documents.
“They have not offered any reason why they have treated the order of the court with disdain. The documents are germane to our defense and we intend to use them through the gentleman in the witness box.”
According to Onilenla, if the two men have not complied by today (11th April, 2016), he would file an application for their arrest.
Reponding, Justice Idris said, “I have checked through the records of the court and discovered that the Oyo state officials, including Yinka Fatoki, director of investment in the ministry of commerce and Attorney General of Oyo State, were duly served the warrant of summons issued and signed by this court. Since this process were served, all the people have the responsibility and duty to appear in court.”
He warned that the court frowns at public officials who have been served but refused to honor the process of court. “The court will issue warrant for their arrest and production in court. Let them be warned that they must appear in court tomorrow(April 13th).”
But sources told Inside Oyo that neither the AG nor the director has received a summon to that effect.