Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Alleged N15m Bribe: Court dismisses kingmakers’ plea to restrain EFCC from probe

On Friday, a Federal High Court in Ibadan dismissed an application filed by five Oyo kingmakers to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from probing them.

In five separate judgments, Justice Ekerete Akpan held that it was impossible to restrain the EFCC from carrying out its constitutional duty which was an investigation of suspected financial crime.

Akpan added that mere interpretation of EFCC’s intention especially as it bordered on N15 million bribery allegation when the antigraft body invited the applicants for interrogation did not amount to harassment.

He, therefore, dismissed the application on grounds of incompetence.

Counsel to the applicants, I.B. Olayinka had in five separate applications prayed the court to declare as unfear and unjust  EFCC’s ceaseless attempt to arrest and investigate his clients over the alleged collection of cash gifts by the kingmakers.

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He added that the action of the Oyo State government which is the second respondent in the case who requested the EFCC to investigate the kingmakers was a clear case of witch hunt of his clients.

“Just imagine my lord, the kingmakers completed their assignment of choosing the next successor to the throne since Sept. 22 2022 and a year after, the state government became dissatisfied, faulting the process,” Olayinka said.

Counsel to the EFCC, Mr S.M. Galadanchi had told the court to discountenance Olayinka’s submissions on grounds that two of the kingmakers; Asimiyu Atanda and Lamidi Oyewale graciously honoured EFCC invitation and provided very useful information.

Galadanchi argued that the two chiefs stated that the kingmakers arrived at a consensus on who the next Alaafin will be after one of the candidates to the throne known as Lukman Gbadegesin offered each of them N15 million.

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He further said that others declined to honour the invitation, adding that those who were in EFCC’s office returned home without any problem.

Also, counsel to the Oyo State government, Mr N.A. Abiola told the court to reject the kingmakers’ application on grounds that they were merely based on assumption. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yusuf Ayoola, (Basorun), Lamidi Oyewale (Sanu), Asimiyu Atanda (Agbaakin), Hamzat Yusuf (Akinniku) and Wakeel Oyedapo have for about two years been engulfed in a feud with the Oyo State government over corruption allegation levelled against them in respect of the selection of the Alaafin of Oyo. (NAN)

 

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