The ongoing trial of two former chairmen of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Adesina Ogunlana and Yinka Farounbi, continued on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, with a prosecution witness, Daniel Okoye, revealing how Ogunlana had diverted various sums of money belonging to the Association to his personal use.
They were arraigned alongside Kappo Aderinola, a former treasurer of the NBA, Ikeja branch, on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, on a 30-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit felony, money laundering and stealing, to the tune of N20, 100, 000 (Twenty Million, One Hundred Thousand Naira), property of the NBA.
The second and third defendants, Farounbi and Aderinola, who were signatories to the accounts of the NBA, Ikeja branch, allegedly signed some cheques at different times without appropriate authorisation.
The second and third defendants allegedly gave the cheques to the first defendant, Ogunlana, to cash fraudulently.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Adesina Ogunlana, Yinka Farounbi and Kappo Aderinola, sometime in 2016 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired and dishonestly stole money, property of the Nigeria Bar Association, Ikeja Branch.”
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.
At the resumed hearing today, the first prosecution witness, PW1, Okoye, told the court how the second and third defendants, Farounbi and Aderinola, signed multiple cheques in favour of the first defendant, Ogunlana and how he (Ogunlana) used same to pay off personal debts.
Led in evidence by Samuel Daji, the prosecution counsel, Okoye, a lawyer, further told the court that the major account of the Association with WEMA Bank Plc was still being operated by the second and third defendants “After their tenure had expired contrary to the succinct provisions of the Uniform By-laws of the Branches 2015, which makes it mandatory that all officers of the branch must hand-over to their successors within seven days of the expiration of their tenure.
“This is tantamount to professional misconduct under the Association’s By-law.”
In his testimony, the second prosecution witness, PW2, Olubunmi Odeniyi, who is the present provost of the NBA, Ikeja branch, informed the court that during his investigation, he discovered that premiums paid by members were not remitted to any Insurance company as at the time of his investigation.”
The case was adjourned to June 9 and 10, 2019 for continuation of trial.