Court Dismisses Oyo Kingmakers’ Move To Stop EFCC’s Probe of Alleged N15m Bribery

Justice Ekarete Akpan of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Friday dismissed a move by five kingmakers in Oyo State to restrain the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from probing them for alleged bribery

In five separate judgments, the judge held that it was impossible to restrain the EFCC from carrying out its constitutional duty of investigating suspected financial crime.

Akpan added that mere interpretation of EFCC intension especially as it bordered on N15 million bribery allegation when the commission 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 urged the court to declare as unfear and unjust EFCC’s ceaseless attempt to arrest and investigate his clients over the alleged collection of cash gift by the kingmakers.

He added that the Oyo State government’s request for investigation of the kingmakers by EFCC was a clear case of witch-hunt.

The counsel said: “Just imagine my Lord, the kingmakers completed their assignment of choosing the next successor to the throne since September 22, 2022 and a year after, the state government became dissatisfied and faulting the process.”

The EFCC, counsel, Mr. S.M. Galadanchi, told the court to discountenance Olayinka’s submissions on grounds that two of the kingmakers – Asimiyu Atanda and Lamidi Oyewale – graciously honoured EFCC invitation and provided very useful information.

Galadanchi argued that the two chiefs stated that the kingmakers arrived at a consensus on the next Alaafin after one of the candidates to the throne identified as Lukman Gbadegesin offered each of them N15 million.

The quintet of Yusuf Ayoola, (Basorun), Lamidi Oyewale (Sanu), Asimiyu Atanda (Agbaakin), Hamzat Yusuf (Akinniku) and Wakeel Oyedapo have been locked in a dispute for about two years with the state government over corruption allegation leveled against them in respect of the selection of the Alaafin of Oyo.