EFCC secures order to prosecute Speaker, two other Lawmakers for alleged fraud

EFCC secures order to prosecute Speaker, two other Lawmakers for alleged fraud

A High Court sitting in Akure, Ondo state capital, has granted the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) the permission to prosecute the speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. David Oleyeloogun and some lawmakers over alleged fraud.

Justice Adegboyega Adebusuyi granted the order following an application by counsel to EFCC, Fredrick Dibang, who is seeking the prosecution of the lawmakers for alleged fraud committed in 2019.

Other lawmakers involved in the case aside from Oleyelogun included Felemu Bankole, and a staff of the House of Assembly, Mr Olusegun Kayode.

But the lawmakers had through their counsel, Remi Olatubora, SAN asked the court to strike out the charges against the lawmakers over the failure of the EFCC to comply with the practice direction of the state judiciary which made it compulsory for the federal government agencies to get the consent of the judiciary before they can prosecute in state courts.

However, the anti-graft agency in its application prayed for the court’s permission to prosecute the lawmakers in accordance with the practice direction of the judiciary.

The alleged fraud being prosecuted by the EFCC was said to have been committed in 2019, when the lawmakers were supposed to attend a two-day seminar organised by the National Productivity Centre, Lagos.

According to EFCC, the lawmakers requested for funds to be released for four members of the committee on tertiary education to attend the seminar scheduled for Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th December 2019.

The agency said the House listed the former clerk, the deputy speaker, the chairman of the house committee on tertiary education and two members of the committee to attend the seminar.

According to the details in the document requesting funds, “the seminar was aimed at institutional productivity, consciousness and excellence in service among workers and organisations in both public and private sectors, to accord workers and organisations the platform in achieving high productivity as well as giving impetus to the seminar in charting the pathway in revitalising the educational sector.”

However, it was discovered that there was no such seminar organised, while the money released by the state ministry of finance amounting to N2.4m was alleged to have gone into private pockets.

The counsel to the EFCC, Dibang said the anti-graft commission was supposed to arraign the lawmakers and the civil servants in the court yesterday but needed the court’s permission which has now been obtained.

Justice Adebusuyi granted the order but asked the anti-graft agency to serve the lawmakers with fresh charges against them and fixed the hearing to October 27.

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