By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday arraigned the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyeloogun, before a state high court in Akure presided over by Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye over alleged N2.4 million fraud committed in 2019.
Oleyeloogun was arraigned alongside the state lawmaker representing Akoko South West Constituency I, Felemu Bankole, and a civil servant in the state, Segun Bankole, over a two-count charge.
The alleged fraud was said to have been committed when four lawmakers of the Assembly were supposed to have attended a two-day seminar organised by the National Productivity Centre, Lagos, scheduled for December 11 and 12, 2019 but which did not take place.
Those penciled down to attend the seminar were the former Clerk, the Deputy Speaker, the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, and two members of the committee.
The money released by the state Ministry of Finance amounting to N4 million was alleged to have gone into private pockets.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel to the EFCC, Kingsley Kudus, prayed the court to remand the defendants at the Olokuta correctional facility.
But objecting, the defence counsel, Femi Emodamore, urged the court to allow the defendants to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted them.
He explained that Oleyeloogun was having a health challenge that needed urgent medical attention.
Emodamore also asked the court to caution the nominal complainant (the former Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji) for allegedly sending infuriating messages to the Speaker.
Ruling, Justice Adebusoye said the defendants should continue to enjoy their administrative bail and adjourned the case till May 18 for further hearing.