2.4m Phony Seminar Fund: EFCC secures order to prosecute Ondo Speaker, Oleyeloogun, others

An Akure High Court has granted the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) the leeway to prosecute the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr David Oleyeloogun and some lawmakers for alleged fraud.

Justice Adegboyega Adebusuyi granted the order sequel to the application by lawyer to the anti graft commission, Mr. Fredrick Dibang seeking the prosecution of the lawmakers for an alleged fraud committed in 2019.

Aside Oleyeloogun, other lawmakers which the EFCC got an order to prosecute for alleged fraud included Felemu Bankole, and a staff of the House of Assembly, Mr. Olusegun Kayode.

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

In order to prevent the charges against the lawmakers from been struck out by the court, the EFCC in its application sought the court’s permission to prosecute in conformity 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 have attended a two-day seminar organised by the National Productivity Centre, Lagos.

In the information filed by the EFCC, was the lawmakers requested for fund 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.

Those penciled down to attend the Seminar included the former Clerk, the Deputy Speaker, the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education and two members of the committee.

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 organizations the platform in achieving high productivity as well as giving impetus to the seminar in charting the pathway in revitalizing 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 N2.4million, was alleged to have gone into private pockets.

The counsel to the EFCC, Dibang said the anti-graft commission 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 who granted the order asked the anti graft agency to serve the lawmakers with fresh charges against them. He fixed the hearing to October 27.

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