You can’t prosecute me for fraud – Ondo Speaker tells EFCC

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Following his arraignment over alleged misappropriation of N2.4m belonging to the state assembly, Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker, Mr Bamidele Oloyeloogun, has told the state High Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission cannot prosecute him for alleged corrupt practices.

Oloyeloogun is facing trial alongside another lawmaker, Mr Bankole Felemu-Gudu, and a staffer of the Assembly, Mr Olusegun Kayode. The speaker is accused of signing off the money for a seminar which the lawmaker and the civil servant were supposed to attend but allegedly did not.

Kicking against his prosecution, Oloyeloogun’s lawyer, Mr Femi Emodamori told the court that his client can’t be tried for fraud by the EFCC as the state already had its own Public Complaint Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption Commission Law passed into law and signed by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in January this year.

Emodamori noted that the charge against his clients was that they committed financial crimes involving the finances and assets of the state, and since the state had its own version of the law, the EFCC should leave the prosecution of the case.

Counsel for the EFCC, Mr Fredrick Dibang, objected to this, saying the court had jurisdiction because the law enacted by the state assembly was contrary to the acts of the National Assembly that established the EFCC.