An Oyo State High Court, sitting in Ibadan, on Thursday, ruled that a former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, and two others have a case to answer in an N11.5 billion fraud case.
Mr Alao-Akala; Hosea Agboola, former Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters; and Femi Babalola, an Ibadan-based businessman; had filed a no-case submission on the charges levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after closing its case.
In his ruling, the judge, Olalekan Owolabi, held that the defendants need to enter defence on the alleged charges of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretences and award of contract without budgetary provision.
Mr Owolabi, while overruling the no-case submission, said the defendants need to enter defence on those charges.
He, however, discharged Mr Alao-Akala on the charges of acquiring property with money allegedly derived from an illegal act and concealing ownership of such property.
The judge said the witnesses called by the prosecutor failed to link evidence to the acquired property, and as well, failed to prove genuine ownership of the property.
Mr Owolabi, therefore, adjourned the case till October 14, 21, and 22 for the defendants to open defence.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that the defendants are facing 11 count charges bordering on conspiracy, awarding contracts without budgetary provision, obtaining money by false pretences, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing its ownership.