The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday told an Akure High court that the speaker of the ondo state house of assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun and others, facing trail on alleged fraud and abuse of office, are making attempts to frustrate their prosecutions and such attempt should not be entertained by the court.
The EFCC had dragged the Speaker, Oleyelogun, a Lawmaker, Felemu-Gudu Bankole and one Segun Oyadeyi to court for alleged misappropriation of 2.4million naira belonging to the State Assembly.
The fund was meant for seminar, which the lawmakers and the civil servant were meant to attend.
However, when the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the defendants in the preliminary objection asked the Court to decline Jurisdiction and strike out the charges against them because the EFCC has no right to prosecute them.
The defendants said the charge AK/106C/2022 filed by the EFCC is flawed, defective having not been initiated in due compliance with the process of the law.
The defendants through their lawyer, Mr Femi Emodamori said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has no right to try him 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, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in January.
The Assembly had 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 January, 2022.
According to them, the charge against them 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 hands over the prosecution of the case.
But the Counsel to the EFCC, Mr Fredrick Dibang said the court has jurisdiction because the State law enacted by 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 later fixed November 25 for the objection and counter-objection of the suit filed by the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon David Oleyeloogun and two others seeking to disqualify the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) from prosecuting them for alleged corruption.
Justice Adebusoye fixed the date after the speaker, another lawmaker, Feleme-Gudu Bankole and a staff of the Assembly, Oyadeji Olusegun Kayode raised objection to their prosecution by the anti-graft agency over alleged misappropriation of fund belonging to the Assembly.