Sixteen Local Government Chairmen of Kwara State have been arrested and are currently being quizzed by operatives at the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged misappropriation of part of Four Billion Naira Loan and ten percent of internally generated revenue.
The Local Government Chairmen include, Risikat Opakunle, Saidu Yaru Musa, Umar Belle, Ayeni Dallas, Fatai Adeniyi Garba, Lah Abdulmumeen, Raliat Funmi Salau, Aminat Omodara and Muyiwa Oladipo.
Others are, Oladipo Omole, Abdullahi Abubakar Bata, Saka Eleyele, Lateef Gbadamosi, Oni Adebayo Joseph, Omokanye Joshua Olatunji and Jibril Salihu.
It was gathered that the Council Chiefs after securing the controversial loan held a meeting and decided that one hundred million naira be shared among themselves.
The suspects had on the 7th of February, 2018 wrote a four billion naira loan request to the Ilorin Branch Manager of Sterling to pay the Salary Arrears of teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) , Local Government Staff and Local Government Pensioners.
The embattled politicians were also accused of diverting ten percent of the monthly internally generated revenue for their personal use which was paid direct into their personal accounts against the Financial Regulations.
All the suspects have made useful statements, s investigation continues.
Meanwhile, Justice Hammed Gegele of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Friday November 1, 2019 dismissed the one billion naira fundamental human rights suit filed by a former General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ilorin Branch, Sulyman Abaya against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and two others.
The EFCC had on the 27th of August 2019 arrested Abaya and two other lawyers for allegedly conspiring to defraud a Pastor, Adetunji Adedoyin of his property valued at about twenty million naira.
The applicant after his release, filed a suit against the Commission, Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren and the petitioner in the matter; Pastor Adetunji Adedoyin, asking for one billion naira damages and public apology in two National Newspapers. He had contended that the publication of his arrest in the media injured his reputation as a lawyer.
Delivering Judgment on the matter on Friday, Justice Gegele dismissed the entire suit and resolved all the issues raised against Abaya.
According to the Judge, there was a reasonable suspicion to have warranted Abaya’s arrest in view of the fact that the EFCC sufficiently showed that he was linked to the allegations it was investigating. Again, Abaya also copiously revealed through his own sworn affidavit, that he was well abreast of the allegations leveled against him.
On the alleged infringement of his right, the Court while relying on the EFCC Act, the Police Act, Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Kwara State 2018 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, held that the applicant can be arrested without a warrant.
The Court also considered the wordings of the mugshot and held that same did not give impression that Abaya was displayed as being convicted, as the use of the word, alleged, did not connote guilt. The court also went further to hold that the information contained in the website of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is in line of its statutory duties.
Before examining the main issues , the judge considered the preliminary objection raised by parties and struck out the name of Mr. Uwujaren from the suit based on the argument of his counsel that a disclosed principal was already before the court, that no allegation was disclosed against him
Justice Gegele while dismissing the suit also refused Abaya’s prayers seeking for perpetual injunctions against the EFCC as well as the mandatory injunctions sought