The Court in charge of the ongoing trial of some Ibadan, Oyo State based staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the theft of N8 billion worth of mutilated banknotes was informed of the staggering wealth of the suspects on Wednesday, June 3, 2014.
The suspects, are said to own petrol stations, shopping malls in Nigeria and abroad, exotic cars, and supermarkets, among others.
Mr. Ayodeji Alase, one of the suspects and a holder of primary six certificate, was alleged to have acquired property including a duplex at Oluyole, a shopping complex, a warehouse at Podo, Challenge and a fenced plot at Dugbe in Ibadan.
He was also alleged to own a four flats at Apeye, two plots of land, five-bedroom flat in Apete, Ibadan, a supermarket at New Garage, Apata Expressway.
Mr. Alase seemed intent on delaying the proceedings of the court, claiming he did not understand English language even though he had worked for years at First Bank Plc as a cash officer.
Alase, who had earlier answered questions asked him in English by the trial judge, Justice A. O Faaji, however, turned around to tell the same judge that he did not understand English language when the first count of the charge was read to him.
Mr. Rotimi Jacob, SAN, who tried to fault his claim said the accused was employed as a guard but was promoted to a cash assistant in the bank.
The trial judge however said that since the accused maintained that he did not understand English, an interpreter would be used to translate the charges and proceedings of the court so that the accused would not be shut out.
The initial interpreter, however, found the task of interpreting difficult which led to the judge selecting another person for the job of interpretation.
The other accused persons, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Ayodele Festus Adeyemi, Isiaq Akano and others were all alleged to own properties in South Africa, petrol stations, cement shops, schools, supermarket, exotic cars, and buildings in several locations.
The Vanguard reports that the cases were heard before Justice Faaji in batches with the first set of accused persons facing a 28-count charge.
They are Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola, Toogun Phillip, Ayodele Adeyemi, Isiaq Akano, Oyebamiji Akeem, Alase, Ajiwe Adegoke and Idowu Oguntade, who is still at large.
Three of the accused were CBN officials , while others were from Wema Bank Plc and First Bank Plc.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, told the court that the accused persons were charged with a 28-count charge which included forgery of documents, conspiracy and stealing.
According to the charge sheet, the accused persons were charged with intent to defraud and conspiracy to commit an offence punishable under the Nigerian law.
They were also accused of sharing among themselves mutilated currency meant to be destroyed as well as destroying and defacing boxes used to move the currency from one bank to the other. They all pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the application by the counsel to the accused persons to secure bail for them through oral application was denied.
All of the eight accused persons who were arraigned were denied bail and remanded in the Agodi Prison pending the determination of the bail applications they had filed.