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EFCC: Ondo speaker, two others arraigned for ‘corruption’

After the preliminary objection to being tried was thrown out, the Akure High Court told Bamidele Oloyelogun, the Speaker of the Ondo State ...

After the preliminary objection to being tried was thrown out, the Akure High Court told Bamidele Oloyelogun, the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, that he has a case to answer for the corruption charges brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Oloyelogun went to court on Wednesday to hear the court’s decision about his preliminary objection.

People have said that the Speaker, another lawmaker, and a government worker took money from the Assembly’s fund, which was N2.4 million, to help themselves.

Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye, the judge in charge, ruled that the Speaker and other people on trial should be arraigned on April 24 and 25. He did this by rejecting the preliminary objection made against their trials.

The anti-graft commission took Oleyelogun, a lawmaker named Felemu-Gudu Bankole, and a civil servant named Segun Oyadeyi to court on charges that they stole N2.4 million from the House of Assembly.

The accused is said to have taken that much money out of the budget for a seminar that was supposed to take place in Lagos.

When the lawmakers brought up the case for hearing, they said that the EFCC has no power over crimes that affect the finances and assets of the Ondo State government because there is already a law in place that the Assembly passed to deal with corruption claims in the state.

In a preliminary objection filed by an attorney named Mr Femi Emodamori, the applicants asked the court to not have jurisdiction over them and get rid of the charges against them because of a law that was passed and signed by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in January 2022.

But EFCC’s lawyer, Mr Fredrick Dibang, argued that the court has jurisdiction because the State law passed by the State Assembly goes against the acts of the National Assembly that set up EFCC. When there is a conflict between the law of a state and that of the National Assembly, the law of the state is suspended.

He also said that the House of Assembly passing the law was a plan to stop the accusations of corruption against the lawmakers and the public servant.

In his decision, Justice Adebusoye threw out the state law and said that the EFCC has the right to investigate the alleged fraud and bring charges against the lawmakers.

The judge said,  “The offences being against the defendants are not state offences promulgated by the state legislation but a federal offence, having been enacted by the National Assembly, though related to Ondo state finances.

“Without wasting the time of this court, it settles that the complainant is empowered to investigate and prosecute the three defendants on the two counts charge as stated in the information file, being federal offences and even though the alleged ones involved belong to the Ondo state government.”


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