Thursday’s arrest of the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission disrupted the sitting of the state’s legislature.
EFCC operatives picked up Oluomo on Thursday morning at the Muritala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, over allegations bordering on corruption, forgery and financial impropriety.
The Speaker’s absence stalled the House sitting on Thursday.
Oluomo’s arrest followed his alleged refusal to honour several invitations by the anti-graft agency.
It was gathered that the Deputy Speaker, Akeem Balogun, who is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of conducting the businesses of the Assembly, was also unable to convene the House’s plenary.
It was also learnt that the Speaker’s refusal to honour the EFCC’s invitation was premised on the suit instituted by the Assembly in January this year at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, against the anti-graft.
Chairman, House Committee on Information, Yussuf Adejojo, said the Speaker’s arrest might have prevented the Assembly from observing its plenary session.
“Yes, the House was supposed to sit today but due to one reason or the other, our sitting has been postponed until further notice,” he said.
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.”
Recall 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 is also seeking an alternative 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.