The Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr Bamidele Oloyelogun, on Tuesday, was arraigned before the state High Court, Akure, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged fraudulent practices.
Oloyelogun was arraigned alongside the lawmaker representing the Akoko South-West Constituency 2, Mr Felemu Bankole, and a staff of the Assembly, Mr Segun Bankole.
At the last hearing of the case, the court dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the defendants to prevent them from being tried as they claimed that the EFCC had no power to prosecute them as the assets they were facing trial for belonged to the state, but the court held that the anti-graft commission had the power to investigate and prosecute the defendants for the alleged fraud.
The defendants were arraigned before the court on two counts bothering on fraud. They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them
During the trial on Tuesday, the counsel for the EFCC, Kingsley Kudus, prayed the court to remand the defendants at the prison custody, saying the defendants were still in the hands of the court while the trial continued, even though they had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Counsel for the defendants, Femi Emodamori, who asked the court to strike out EFCC’s prayer for remand, however, said the administrative bail application on the defendants were still active.
He also pleaded that the second defendant (the Speaker) had health challenges and needed urgent medical attention.
Emodamori also asked the court to caution the nominal complainant (the former Deputy Speaker, Iroju Ogundeji) in the case for allegedly sending messages to the Speaker in an attempt to annoy him, warning that if Ogundeji failed to desist from such action, he would take a legal action against him. He declared that Ogundeji’s action towards his client was against the law.
In his ruling, Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye asked the defendants to continue enjoying their administrative bail till the next hearing and he adjourned the case till May 18, 2023 for proper hearing of the trial