The Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan, on Wednesday, set aside the conviction of a former Registrar of Oyo State High Court Registrar, Mrs. Omobola Adio.
In the lead judgement delivered by Justice F.A. Ojo, the Appellate Court said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove all the ingredients of stealing against the appellant and that the lower Court erred by convicting the former Registrar.
Consequently, the Court held that the Prosecution failed to prove the ownership of the money allegedly stolen,failed to prove that the money subject matter of the offence belonged to Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and that a money which is given out to a party with security is not capable of being stolen.
It also held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed in its duty to show that the money allegedly stolen by the appellant was fraudulently taken, that the confessional statement relied upon by the lower Court was not direct, unequivocal and failed to pass the furnace of reliability as established in the country’s case laws.
The Court of Appeal concluded that the transaction leading to the trial and conviction of the appellant was a business transaction which the EFCC had no jurisdiction to entertain in the first place.
Recall that Adio was convicted by the Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice M. O. Olagunju on March 6, 2020, on a lone count charge of stealing which it held was contrary to S. 390 (9) & (11) of the Oyo State Criminal Code Law as proffered against her by EFCC.
Following the Appeal Court judgement, Adio who is presently serving her sentence at the Agodi Correctional Centre was discharged and acquitted.
Reacting to the judgment, Counsel for the appellant, Olaniyi George, praised the Court of Appeal for the industry exhibited and particularly thanked the Court for restating the true position of law in respect of what a confessional statement should be within the context of criminal trial