Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker Bamidele Oloyelegun and two others have raised objection to their prosecution at an Akure High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Speaker, another lawmaker, Feleme-Gudu Bankole and an official of the assembly, Oyadeji Olusegun Kayode, were arraigned over alleged misappropriation of fund belonging to the assembly.
Last year, the money was released for a seminar in Lagos State, but those that were to attend did not go.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the defendants through their lawyer, Femi Emodamori, filed a preliminary objection in which they urged the court to decline jurisdiction and strike out the charges against them, “because the EFCC has no right to prosecute us.”
They said the charges preferred against them by the anti-graft agency were flawed, defective and were not done in compliance with the process of the law.
The defendants said the EFCC had no right to try them for alleged corruption in view of the State Public Complaint Financial Crimes and Anti- Corruption Commission Law passed and signed into law in January.
They claimed the charge against them contained two counts, accusing them of committing financial crimes involving the finances and assets of the state and since the state had its own version of the law, the EFCC should hand over the prosecution of the case.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Fredrick Dibang, said the court had jurisdiction because the state law enacted by the assembly was contrary to the acts of the National Assembly that established EFCC.
He said the assembly passed the law with the intention of frustrating the trial of the lawmakers and the civil servant for the alleged abuse of office and corruption.
Justice Adegboyega Adebusoye fixed November 25 as the date for the hearing of the objection and counter-objection.