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Ogun Assembly sues EFCC, ex-deputy speaker over alleged image smearing

The Ogun State House of Assembly has dragged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to a Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta to retrain the anti-graft agency from investigating the Assembly over an alleged financial misappropriation. The House also sued its former Deputy Speaker, Oludare Kadiri, for allegedly smearing the image of the House. The Assembly accused the embattled former Deputy Speaker of leaking confidential information given to the EFCC to the media, a development it said is aimed at smearing the image of the House.

The anti-graft agency had in June 2021 commenced the investigation of the Speaker of the House, Olakunle Oluomo and the Assembly over alleged financial misappropriation. The EFCC, acting on a petition written against the Speaker had written a letter to the Assembly demanding information on all budget appropriations and allocations of the House from May 30, 2015 till date. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the petition may have emanated from the impeached former Deputy Speaker, who had accused Oluomo of shrouding the House financial records in secrecy.

The former Deputy Speaker also accused Oluomo of forging his signature to withdraw about N50 million from the Assembly’s bank account. Kadiri, who has been at loggerheads with the Speaker was impeached as the Deputy Speaker over alleged gross misconduct in March 2021. However, things took a dramatic twist when the House sued both Kadiri and the EFCC for allegedly battering the image of the House. The Assembly, in suit N0. FHC/AB/CS/7/2022 and dated, Friday, January 14, accused the EFCC of “bias and conspiracy to impugn the House”.

In an originating summons filled through Afe Babalola and Co, a copy of which was exclusively obtained by Saturday Telegraph, the House prayed the court to restrain the EFCC from; “inviting, interrogating, imposing obligations and demanding or requiring attendance of the plaintiffs/ applicants in connection with the criminal allegation made by the 2nd defendant/respondent against the plaintiff.”

The House accused Kadiri of using an official of the anti-graft agency to get information given to the agency under confidentiality leaked with the purpose of smearing the image of the House in the media. It also accused him of having; “an unfettered access to EFCC and using an official of the agency to implicate the House at all cost by arranging clandestine meetings between the said official and the invited officials of the House with the aim of giving out the questions to be asked in advance and supposed response for purpose of implicating the House”. The Assembly equally stated that its request from the EFCC for the provision of a copy of the petition against the House in line with section 36 (6) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was not granted by the anti-graft agency. In the notice of action against the anti-graft agency, a copy of which was acknowledged by the Office of the Zonal Commander of EFCC; the Agency and Kadiri were jointly sued through an originating summons filed requesting an order of interlocutory injunction pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit filed by plaintiffs restraining the EFCC from taking further step including but not limited to inviting, interrogating.

 

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