Waya Again!!!! SOURCE EFCC arrests Terry Waya By Tobi Soniyi, Tony Amokeodo and Sebastine Ebhuomhan Published: Tuesday, 11 Nov 2008 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested Mr. Terry Waya, a popular socialite and an associate of some of the former governors being prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, for alleged corruption. Photo file Terry Wayas The EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Babafemi, confirmed the arrest on Monday just as the case against a former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rasheed Ladoja, his two ex-aides and a firm was reassigned to another judge of the Federal High Court, Lagos. Investigations by our correspondents in Abuja revealed that Waya was arrested at about 1pm on Monday at his Abuja residence. Although Babafemi did not disclose the reason for his arrest, sources in the commission told one of our correspondents that it might not be unconnected with an allegation that he extorted money from some of the former governors with a promise to help them appease the Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri. He was also alleged to have collected money from some incumbent governors with a promise that the EFCC would not touch them. As at 9pm on Monday, EFCC investigators were said to be interrogating him. Waya, a Benue state born businessman, is believed to have close relationship with a former governors Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, James Ibori, and Lucky Igbinedion. In October 2005, he courted trouble when he offered to pay 500,000 bail bond for Alamieyeseigha in London. Following enquiries by his bank, the police raised concerns about his finances, leading to the closure of his account. He was arrested by the police in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2005 on suspicion of money laundering. On September 11, 2006, he was charged with two counts of obtaining money by deception. Waya was convicted on a count charge in July 10, 2007 Early this year, the Southwark Crown Court in London ordered him to pay 1, 540,000 or be jailed. Waya was later hosted to another party by some of his ex-governor friends on his return to Nigeria after being charged with money laundering offences by the Crown Prosecution Service. Waya, who is believed to be on the board of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, first drew public attention a few years ago when his 40th birthday party in London drew more than half of then state governors and other top public officials. In Lagos, Ladoja, the former chairman of the state Housing Corporation, Mr. Adewale Atanda and ex-Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr. Waheed Akanbi and a firm, Heritage Apartments Limited, took fresh pleas before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on an amended 10-count charge by the EFCC. The Commission had on October 20 arraigned them before Justice Mohammed Sanni of the FHC on the same charge. No reason was given for the change of the judge. The EFCC had claimed that the accused converted the state funds in GTBank through Heritage Apartments, knowing that the sums represented the proceeds of crime. When the matter came up on Monday, an EFCC lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said there was a pending ruling on the appearance of lawyers before the matter was transferred. He urged the court to give necessary direction on the issue. But Mohammed faulted his position, saying that since the argument did not take place before him, he could not deliver any ruling. The judge added that since the accused were being arraigned before him for the first time, the normal procedure was for them to take their fresh pleas. The 10-count charge was read to the accused and they pleaded not guilty. Keyamo later told the court that he was ready to commence trial and thereafter called his witnesses. Ladojas lawyer, Mr. Yakubu Bayero, also informed the court that the matter was fixed for ruling and that his client was ready for trial. But Atandas lawyer, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), reminded the court that the former judge (Justice Sanni) had admitted the accused to bail on September 5. He argued that since the accused had fulfilled their bail conditions, they should continue to enjoy their temporary freedom. The Senior Advocate added that there was an October 15 application in which his client was seeking the release of his passport. He also drew the court's attention to another application in which Atanda asked that the charge against him be quashed. Oyetibo therefore asked that the application for the release of the passport should be taken first. Lawyer to Akanbi, Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, aligned himself to the submission of Oyetibo on the need to allow the accused enjoy the bail terms. Keyamo told the court that though he was not opposed to the bail issue, it should not be automatic. He disagreed with Oyetibo that the application for release of the passport should be taken first. In his ruling on the matter, Mohammed said, " I am of the view that anyone who wishes that the charge against him should be quashed for whatever reason would pursue that application diligently. "Knowing full well if the charge is quashed, he would be let off the hook and the issue of release of passport would no longer be an issue. "The application to quash should be heard first. Accused to continue on bail conditions earlier granted." The judge consequently adjourned the matter till December 1, 2008 for the hearing of the application to quash the charge against Atanda.