The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Oluomo Olakunle Taiwo, for an alleged N2.4 billion fraud.
A statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, says the speaker was arraigned Tuesday before Justice D. E. Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
TheFact Daily recalls that Oluomo was on Thursday, September 1, arrested by operatives of the anti-graft Commission at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, to answer questions bordering on alleged financial crimes.
Oluomo was arraigned alongside the Director of Finance, Ogun State House of Assembly, Oladayo Samuel, and the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Adeyemo Adedeji Taiwo, on 11-count charges bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2.4 billion.
According to one of the counts, Oluomo, Oludayo Samuel, Adeyemo Adedeji Taiwo and Adeyanju Nimota Amoke (now at large), sometime in 2019, conspired among themselves to steal the total sum of N2,475,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion, Four Hundred and Seventy Five Million Naira) from the treasury of Ogun State House of Assembly, thereby committing “an offence contrary to Sections 18 (a), 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
The defendants pleaded “not guilty” to the charges preferred against them.
In view of their pleas, counsel to the first defendant, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, SAN, informed the court that he was in the process of filing a bail application for his client at the Registry. He, however, pleaded to make an oral application for bail.
Ogunwumiju observed that the defendant had been granted an administrative bail by the prosecution, and that “he did not default.”
He also told the court that the defendant, a public servant, “is contesting for the seat of the House of Assembly in the 2023 General Elections”, and gave assurances of his client’s attendance throughout the course of the trial.
Ogunwumiju also prayed that the defendant be remanded in the EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Akinyemi Aremu and Oluwole Aladedoye, counsel to the second and third defendants, respectively, in their applications dated September 5, 2022 , aligned with the submissions of Ogunwumiju and pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail in “the most liberal terms.”
Aladedoye admitted that while bail was at the discretion of the court, the offences against the defendants were bailable and “such bail, as the law permits, should be in the most liberal and affordable terms“.
Justice Osiagor, in a short ruling, admitted Oluomo to bail in the sum of N300m (Three Hundred Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum.
The second and third defendants were each granted bail in the sum of N100m (One Hundred Million Naira), with two sureties.
The sureties should be public servants on Grade Level 14 and should possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
They must also provide a three- year tax clearance.
The Judge also ordered the defendants to deposit their International Passports with the court.
Justice Osiagor further ruled that the defendants, pending the perfection of their bail, “are to remain in the EFCC custody for a week.”