Barristers & Solicitors
EFCC Arraigns Ondo Speaker, Two Others over Alleged N2.4m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly,  Bamidele Oloyeloogun, before the state High Court in Akure, the state capital, over alleged fraud.

The arraignment marked the beginning of the official trial of the head of the state legislature.

Also arraigned before the court were the lawmaker representing Akoko South-West Constituency 2, Felemu Bankole, and a civil servant, Segun Oyadeyi Bankole.

 They were alleged by Hon. Iroju Ogundeji, the ex-deputy speaker of the Assembly, of collecting and sharing the money  for a seminar in Lagos that was slated for December 11 and 12, 2019, which they never attended.

According to the details in the document requesting for fund, “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 to achieve high productivity as well as giving impetus to the seminar in charting the pathway in revitalising the education sector.”

However, it was discovered that there was no such seminar organised, thereby the money released by the state Ministry of Finance amounting to N2.4million allegedly went to private pockets.

Thus, the Speaker, alongside others, was docked on two-count charged involving fraud, but they pleaded not guilty of the allegations level against them.

During the trial, the counsel to the EFCC, Kingsley Kudus, asked the court to remand the defendants at the Olokuta Correctional Facility, and even though they had pleaded not guilty,  the defendants were still in the hands of the court while the trial continues.

 While reacting, counsel to the defendants, Femi Emodamore, who told the court that he was fully prepared for the commencement and continuation of the trial, asked the court to strike out EFCC’s prayer for remand, saying the administrative bail application on the defendants was still active.

He explained that the second defendant (Oleyelogun) was having health challenge that needed urgent medical attention. Emodamore also asked the court to caution the nominal complainant (the former Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji) in the case for allegedly sending messages to the Speaker in an attempt to annoy him.

 According to him, if Ogundeji does not desist from such action, he would be prosecuted as his actions towards the Speaker is against the law.

  In his ruling, Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye asked the defendants to  enjoy their administrative bail till the next hearing.

  Justice Adebusoye adjourned the case till May 18, 2023, for proper hearing of the trial.