Court fixes date for hearing of suit seeking to stop EFCC from prosecuting Ondo speaker - Naijarecent
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Court fixes date for hearing of suit seeking to stop EFCC from prosecuting Ondo speaker

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has fixed November 25 for the hearing of a suit filed by Speaker of the Ondo House of Assembly, Hon David Oleyeloogun, seeking the disqualification of the suit brought before the Court by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over alleged corruption.

The Speaker, Oleyeloogun, and two others who included another lawmaker, Feleme-Gudu Bankole, and a staff of the Assembly, Oyadeji Olusegun Kayode, have prayed the Court to strike out charges on the ground that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit and the anti-graft agency has no right to prosecute them.

The defendants argued that the charge AK/106C/2022 filed by the EFCC is flawed, and defective having not been initiated in due compliance with the process of the law.

Counsel to the defendants, Mr. Femi Emodamori, explained that EFCC has no right to try them for alleged corruption in view of the State Public Complaint Financial Crimes and Anti Corruption Commission Law passed into law and signed by the governor, Rotimi Akeredolu in January.

According to him, the charge against the defendants contains two counts, alleging them of committing financial crimes involving the finances and assets of the state and since the state has its own version of the law, the EFCC should hand over the prosecution of the case.

It will be recalled that the state Assembly in 2021 passed a law titled “The Ondo State Public Complaints, Financial Crime and anti-Corruption Commission and other matters connected thereto” for the trial of cases related to corruption in the state. The law was signed into law in January 2022.

However, the Counsel to the EFCC, Mr. Fredrick Dibang maintained that the suit is still within the Jurisdiction of the court, noting that the State law enacted by the state Assembly is contrary to the acts of the National Assembly that establish EFCC.

Dibang said the Assembly passed the law with the intention of frustrating the trial of the lawmakers and the civil servant for the alleged abuse of office and corruption.

The Presiding judge, Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye, however, fixed November 25 for the hearing of the suit after the defendants raised objection to their prosecution by the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC dragged the Speaker, Oleyelogun, and two others to court for alleged misappropriation of N2.4m belonging to the State Assembly, which was meant for seminar, for the lawmakers and civil servants.

Justice Adebusoye fixed the hearing for the objection and counter-objection to November 25.

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