Court Clears EFCC to Probe Oyo Kingmakers Over Bribery Allegations

EFCC

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

Counsel to the Oyo State government, Mr N.A. Abiola has told the court to reject the kingmakers’ application because they were merely based on assumption.

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 an ₦15 million bribery allegation when the anti-graft 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 unfair and unjust EFCC’s ceaseless attempt to arrest and investigate his clients over the alleged collection of cash gifts by the kingmakers.

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 on Sept. 22 2022 and a year after, the state government became dissatisfied, faulting the process,” Olayinka said.

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Counsel to the EFCC, Mr S.M. Galadanci had told the court to discountenance Olayinka’s submissions because two of the kingmakers; Asimiyu Atanda and Lamidi Oyewale graciously honoured the 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 would be after one of the candidates to the throne known as Lukman Gbadegesin allegedly offered each of them ₦15 million.

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