BY KAYODE ANIMASAUN
An Akure High Court on Wednesday faulted the claim of the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleleyeloogun that his life and other lawmakers undergoing trial for alleged fraud are under threat.
Oleyeloogun, Felemu Bankole, and Olusegun Kayode were to be arraigned before Justice Semiu Kuteyi by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission(EFCC) for alleged fraud committed in the Assembly.
The lawmakers who were supposed to be docked today were absent.
They were represented by Mr. Femi Emodamori who said the lawmakers had through their counsel, Dr. Aderemi Olatubora SAN written a letter to the Chief Judge asking the case to be transferred from the court located at the Correctional Centre to another because of threat to their lives.
The lawmakers alleged that at the last adjourned date, some unmarked vehicles were trailing them from the court premises until they were able to escape from the view of the suspected assailants.
Emodamori said “after the last sitting, the defendants called and informed counsel that there was serious security breach affecting them. It was observed that there were vehicles packed with unmarked number plates at the junction of the court here.
“They were not conscious of it until the vehicles started to pursue them. They felt it was an abnormal security threat.”
However, Justice Kuteyi who said he came to the court without a driver or security escort told the counsel that the security threat was not because they were in his court at the last adjourned date.
His words “One of the defendants is the speaker of the Ondo state house of assembly, number three citizen, people know his office, people know that he would go to work every day, they are likely to know his house. So why are you attaching security issues to this because he came to a court within Ondo state? As if he came from another planet.
“So if he wants to leave this court because people are pursuing him, they could have pursued him somewhere else. He is the speaker of the Ondo state House of Assembly and other principal members.
“They know his routes, they know his political pedigree, they know his house. So why is it attached to a day he came to my court? That it is in the public domain that he came to the court.
“He has not been arraigned, no information had been served on him, but now after he left the court, he was going home and a vehicle pursued him, and he wrote to the Chief Judge that it was because he came to my court.
“ I am not hungry for any jurisdiction. It was mentioned to me and I had even expected that the file would have been taken from my table.
“ But as of today, the file is still on my table. I have not received any direction that I should transfer the file.
“But be that as it may, now that it has been raised officially before the court, I will await the Chief Judge’s direction on the prosecution of the case.”
The judge fixed March 24 for the tentative arraignment of the suspects.