An Igbosere Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Tuesday struck out a suit filed against a House of Representatives member, Aliyu Pategi, charged with failure to produce an ex-minister he stood surety for.
Pategi, who represented Edu/Moro/Patigi Federal Constituency of Kwara, was on June 16, brought to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) through a motion on notice.
The EFCC Prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the court that the defendant stood surety for his wife, Oloye Akinjide, an ex-Minister of State, wanted for alleged conspiracy and laundering of N650 million.
According to the commission, Akinjide collected the money from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke in March 2015.
Oyedepo, in a 16-paragraph affidavit, said the money was received as a gratification by the former petroleum minister from some oil marketers.
He also told the court that Akinjide was on Aug. 10, 2016 granted bail after Pategi stood as her surety on a N650 million bail bond.
The prosecutor said that Pategi promised to produce Akinjide whenever she was needed.
He said a 24-count charge bordering on money laundering and conspiracy was brought against Akinjide before Justice Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, in suit No. FHC/IB/26C/2017.
Oyedepo, however, said Akinjide failed to turn up in court after more than three proceedings despite the service of the charge on her.
He said that Federal High Court, therefore, threatened to dismiss the charge because Akinjide has not been seen since and Pategi, despite repeated demands, failed to produce her.
Oyedepo said that Pategi should show cause why the N650 million should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.
He was, however, remanded in custody.
When the case came up on Tuesday, the EFCC prosecutor, told the court that Akinjide had reported at the EFCC’s office.
“I just confirmed from the EFCC zonal office that Akinjide has turned herself to the EFCC custody.
“Since it was the inability of Pategi to produce Akinjide that triggered our application, we apply that this suit be struck out in view of the success of producing Akinjide.
“In the interest of justice, I seek to withdraw this suit,” Oyedepo said.
Earlier, counsel to the defendant, Mr Adenrele Adegborioye, told the court that the business of the day was for summons for bail to be heard including the preliminary objection filed.
He also notified the court that an arrangement was being made for an out-of-court settlement.
Adegborioye withdrew his application for preliminary objection and urged the court to suspend the suit until the out-of-court settlement was reached.
Magistrate Afolashade Botoku, after listening to the parties, struck out the suit, said “based on the application of the prosecutor, the suit is hereby struck out and the defendant released.”