Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye of Ondo State High Court, Akure on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 dismissed the application of Hon.Oleyelogun David Bamidele, Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Felemu Olusegun Gudu Bankole, Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Oyadeyi Olusegun Kayode, a staff of the Ondo State House of Assembly which sought to stop their prosecution for alleged corrupt practices.
The trio had challenged the charge filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the charge as the Commission was not competent to investigate and prosecute them.
The defence counsel, Femi Emmanuel Emodamori submitted: “Under the Ondo State Public Compliant, Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Commission Law, 2022, all financial crimes involving the finance and/or assets of Ondo State allegedly committed by an official or agency of the state government can only be prosecuted by the Ondo State Public Compliant Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Commission.”
Delivering his ruling on Wednesday, February 23, the judge dismissed their application, stating that the Commission has powers to investigate and prosecute financial and economic crimes as enshrined in the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
The judge adjourned till April 24 and 25, 2023 for their arraignment.
They are to be docked on a two count charge of alleged fraud.
One of the charges read: ”Hon. Felemu Olusegun Gudubankole whilst being the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Institution, Ondo State House of Assembly, Hon. Oleyelogun David Bamidele whilst being a member of Ondo State House of Assembly and Oyadey Oludeji being the Secretary to the House Committee on Tertiary Institution, Ondo State House of Assembly, on or about the 18th of June, 2020, in Akure, Ondo State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit: engaging in corrupt practices by receiving and retaining the sum of N2,440,000 (Two Million , Four Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira) from the Ondo State Government, meant to be used to attend a two-day Seminar, organised by National Productivity Centre, on improving Productivity in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria , which you did not attend”.