There was a mild drama yesterday as prison officials prevented journalists from various media houses from accessing the court to witness the trial of the speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon David Oleyeloogun and other lawmakers accused of fraud.
The prison officials led by the Squadron Commander, Mr Ibrahim Ayooola Ogunja said he had the instructions of the Comptroller of Correctional Centre to bar journalists from gaining access to the court sitting at the premises of the correctional facility. He threatened to shoot journalists if they did not leave the premises.
He directed other prison officials to cock their guns in readiness to shoot if the journalists did not leave the court premises.
The Speaker, lawmakers and former Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Bode Adeyelu and top civil servants were to be arraigned in the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N2.4million fraud involving the leadership of the Assembly.
To be arraigned with the Speaker is the lawmaker representing Akoko South West I in the House, Felemu Bankole, two civil servants attached to the Assembly; Olusegun Kayode and Afolabi O. J.
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.
It was gathered that the lawmakers requested for fund to be released for four members of the Committee on Tertiary Education to attend the seminar scheduled for Wednesday December 11 and Thursday December 12, 2019.
Those penciled down to attend the Seminar included the former Clerk, the Deputy Speaker, 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 organisations the platform in achieving high productivity as well as giving impetus to the seminar in charting the pathway in revitalising 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.