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Speaker’s arrest stalls Ogun Assembly sitting

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The arrest of the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, by the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Thursday, disrupted the sitting of lawmakers.

Newsmen reported that Oluomo was picked up by officials of the anti-graft agency, Thursday morning, at the Muritala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, over allegations bordering on corruption, forgery and financial impropriety.

It was further gathered that the absence of the Speaker prevented the House from observing its Thursday sitting.

The arrest of Oluomo followed his alleged refusal to honour several invitations by the EFFC.

Our correspondent learnt that, the Deputy Speaker, Akeem Balogun, who is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of conducting the businesses of the Assembly, also could not convene the sitting of the House.

When our correspondent visited the Assembly complex on Thursday, staff members of the Assembly were seen gathering in groups and discussing in a hushed tone.

A source at the Assembly confided in our correspondent that the Speaker’s refusal to honour the EFCC’s invitation was premised on the existing litigation instituted by the Assembly earlier in January this year at the Federal High Court sitting in Abeokuta, against the agency.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Yussuf Adejojo, said the Speaker’s arrest might have prevented the lawmakers from observing its sitting.

“Yes, the House was supposed to sit today but due to one reason or the other, our sitting has been postponed until further notice.”

When asked if the postponement was due to the Speaker’s arrest, Adejojo said, “Well, it might be, but the information about the postponement has been out before the arrest of the Speaker, but it might be because as the Speaker, he is the one that will preside over the sitting, so the postponement might be because of this.”

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It would be recalled that the Ogun Assembly in suit N0: FHC/AB/CS/7/2022, dated January 14, 2022 is seeking an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the EFCC from taking further steps, “including but not limited to inviting, interrogating, imposing obligations and demanding or requiring the attendance of the plaintiffs/applicants in connection with the criminal allegation made against the Speaker and some others by an aggrieved member of the Assembly.”

In the same suit, the Assembly also seeking an alternatively to relief (1) above an order of interlocutory injunction directing the EFCC to maintain status quo as of December 1, 2021, and or stay all actions relating to the criminal investigation made by an aggrieved member against the plaintiffs, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit filed by the plaintiffs.

The House followed it with a letter to the anti-graft agency, reminding the EFCC that it was legally barred from taking any steps or decision against them until their suit is decided by the court.

The matter is, however, still pending and it’s also not clear if the injunctions sought by Oluomo and other members of the House collectively sought were granted or not.

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