A High Court of Ondo State, sitting in Akure has granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the permission to prosecute Ondo Speaker Bamidele Oleyeloogun and some lawmakers over alleged fraud.
Counsel to the EFCC, Frederick Dibang, had filed an application seeking the leave of court to prosecute the lawmakers for alleged fraud committed in 2019.
Other persons to be prosecuted beside the lawmakers are Felemu Bankole, and a staff of the House of Assembly, Olusegun Kayode.
The lawmakers were said to have committed the fraud when they collected money to attend a two-day seminar organised by the National Productivity Centre, Lagos but did not show up at the seminar
Those that reportedly collected the money 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 on Tertiary Education.
According to the EFCC: “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 of 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 Ministry of Finance amounting to N2.4million, was alleged to have gone into private pockets.”
The lawmakers, through their counsel,Remi Olatubora,SAN asked the court to strike out the charges against them over failure of the EFCC to comply with the Practice Direction of the State judiciary which made it compulsory for federal government agencies to get the leave of the court before they could prosecute in State’s courts.
But the EFCC, in its application, sought the court’s permission to prosecute in conformity with the Practice Direction of the High Court of Ondo State.
Justice Adegboyega Adebusuyi granted the order and asked the EFCC to serve the lawmakers with fresh charges against them.
Hearing was fixed for October 27.
Dibang said the lawmakers and the civil servants were supposed to be docked Wednesday but needed the court’s permission.