N2.4m fraud: Ondo Assembly confirms detention of lawmaker, others by EFCC

The Ondo State House of Assembly on Monday confirmed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) last week invited and detained a member of the House of Assembly representing Akoko South West I, Hon. Felemu Bankole and four others including the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Bode Adeyelu, over a N2.4m allegedly diverted into their personal purse.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Hon. Gbenga Omole, who confirmed this while briefing newsmen, said the five men were invited following a petition written to the EFCC by the former Deputy Speaker, Mr Iroju Ogundeji.

According to him, the anti-graft agency was acting on the petition over a supposed seminar which the lawmaker and others were billed to attend in Lagos in December 2019 but they did not attend the seminar due to the situation in the country then.

He said the lawmakers could not attend the seminar because the money meant for the seminar could not be accessed until May 2020, saying the money was deposited in the coffers of the state Assembly.

Omole said since the lawmakers did not attend the seminar, the sum of N2.4m meant for the programme was deposited in the Assembly account.

He, however, confirmed that the Bankole, the clerk and others have been detained at the EFCC office since last Thursday, after honouring the invitation of the EFCC.

He said the freedom of the lawmaker and clerk was delayed after their interrogation because they could not meet the bail conditions, adding that they had to stay with the anti-graft agency over the weekend.

He, however, said the two men would be released and return to Ondo State immediately after their bail conditions are perfected.

Other persons affected by the investigation include Olusegun Kayode and Afolabi O. J. who were said to be helping the anti-graft agency in its investigation.

It was gathered that Bankole who is the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and other members of the Committee were billed to attend a seminar in Lagos in December 2019 but failed to attend.

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