r Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a lawyer who represented the late Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala during his trial on N11.5 billion fraud charges, said he was happy that the former governor got justice before his death.
Fagbemi made the assertions in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Ibadan.
While reacting to Alao-Akala’s death, Fagbemi said he was very happy that the former governor was able to clear his name on the fraud allegations against him.
NAN reports that the fraud case against Alao-Akala was instituted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2011 at the Oyo State High Court.
At the completion of the prosecutor’s case on the fraud charges before an Oyo State High Court in 2021, after the case had dragged for 10 years, he filed a no case submission.
The court presided over by Justice Olalekan Owolabi, however, ruled that Alao-Akala had a case to answer.
Alao-Akala, not satisfied with the High Court’s judgment, approached the Court of Appeal in Ibadan which, however, set aside the judgment of the lower court.
The appellate court, therefore, discharged and acquitted Alao-Akala on Dec. 2, 2021.
Fagbemi said, “You will recall that Court of Appeal gave him victory in respect of the fraud case filed against him by EFCC.”
He described his late client as “a cheerful and loyal client”.
According to him, his death is a big lost to Ogbomoso and Oyo State in general.
“It is my prayer that God will take care of his family he left behind,” Fagbemi said.
Similarly, an Ibadan-based businessman, Mr Femi Babalola, popularly known as Jogor, described the death of Alao-Akala, as a big blow to the state political landscape.
Babalola described Alao-Akala as his political and family friend.
According to him, the political landscape of Oyo State will never be the same with the death of Alao-Akala.
“We were actually planning for the birthday of his wife slated for Saturday this weekend, not knowing that God will not allow him to witness it,” Babalola said.
He prayed for repose of the soul of the deceased and commiserated with the family, Ogbomoso people and Oyo State in general.