The Economic and Financial Crime Commission has invited a former Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly under former Governor Rasidi Ladoja, Adeolu Adeleke, and 31 other lawmakers to Lagos over an alleged fraud relating to the sale of the state shares.
The shares worth N1.5bn was alleged to have been sold by the government of Ladoja, but Adeleke, in his reaction, said the state government, led by Governor Abiola Ajimobi, was behind the EFCC’s action.
In a letter signed by Abdulahi Madaki of the EFCC and dated August 21, 2015, the lawmakers were invited over conspiracy, diversion of public fund and abuse of office.
Our correspondent learnt that a team of the EFCC, led by Madaki, visited the state government secretariat on August 20, 2015. The team visited the state ministries of Lands, Finance and Justice, looking for evidence in connection with the sale of the shares under Ladoja and how the money was spent.
Our correspondent also learnt that the team was also concerned about car gifts to 14 lawmakers loyal to Ladoja, disbursement of N1m monthly payment to them and payment of N20m constituency fee to them.
In his reaction, Adeleke acknowledged the EFCC’s invitation but maintained that Ajimobi was behind the plot because of the ongoing governorship election petition tribunal, where Ladoja is challenging his victory at the last governorship election in the state. Adeleke also said that the EFCC seemed to be confused because of the period stated in the invitation letter.
He said, “The invitation did not come to me as a surprise because we heard a few weeks ago that the EFCC would be used to rattle Ladoja’s loyalists. To them, this will have a multiplier effect on the petition before the governorship election tribunal.
“We left office in 2007, and in 2008, we were invited by the EFCC. We honoured the invitation and wrote our statements. I don’t know why we are being invited for this recent meeting.
“Last week Friday, Mr. Abubakar Madaki called me from the EFCC and said the commission would like to hand over invitation letter of all members of the House of Assembly in our regime to me. I was outside Ibadan, but because I have nothing to be afraid of, I came to Ibadan to collect the letter. The EFCC seems to be confused because it was stated in the letter that those invited served between 2005 and 2007. We served between 2003 and 2007.
“Ajimobi is using the EFCC to oppress Ladoja’s men because of the petition before the tribunal. The tone of the EFCC’s letter is a clear manifestation that the commission is in the hand of the state government.”
Adeleke said the allegations were fictitious.
“We need to know who gave out the money. As far as I am concerned, nothing of such happened. We did not get such money from Ladoja. If they have the evidence, they should produce it,” he said.