A Lagos Federal High court has released the embattled Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Olakunle Oluomo, on bail.
The speaker and the Clerk of the House, Adedeji Adeyemo and Director of Finance of the House, Samson Oladayo on Friday were released after meeting the bail conditions.
The trio perfected their bail condition on Friday and had since returned to Abeokuta
The Speaker who arrived at the assembly complex around 12:18 pm was received by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Akeem Balogun and Yusuf Amosun.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had dragged the speaker before Justice D E Osiagor of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, over N2.4 billion fraud allegation.
Oluomo was arraigned alongside Samuel Oladayo, and Taiwo Adeyemo on 11-count bordering on money laundering to the tune of N2.4 billion.
Justice Osiagor, in a short ruling, admitted Oluomo to bail in the sum of N300m and two sureties in like sum.
The second and third defendants were each granted bail in the sum of N100m, with two sureties.
The sureties should be public servants on Grade Level 14 and should possess landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
They must also provide a three-year tax clearance. The judge also ordered the defendants to deposit their International passports with the court.
The speaker upon his release from the EFCC detention, on Friday, went straight to the assembly complex in Abeokuta and was received by members of staff of the assembly back in the office.
Addressing his staff, Oluomo said that he remained innocent of the charges filed against him by the EFCC.
The speaker said he was not an accounting officer of the House and that the assembly has been operating only one bank account since 2019 under his leadership.
Oluomo said running costs and allowances are paid directly into the bank accounts of members and staff of the House.
He said “by law, I am not the Accounting Officer of the House, for emphasis, the House under my leadership operates only one bank account since 2019, through which running costs and allowances are paid directly into the bank accounts of individual Honourable members and staff of the House including the petitioner.
“Also, charges 10 and 11 are for the Eighth legislature before I became the Speaker.
“I also like to say that the refusal to honour the initial invitation of EFCC was because of the method adopted by EFCC is against section 36 of the constitution and we challenged it in court, this is in the public domain as it was widely reported but the EFCC refused to wait for the pronouncement in that case before taking further steps, despite having joined issues with us in court.
“I have always been disciplined and upright in my position, conduct and dealings with people, I shall continue to remain myself with truth and honour as my goal. I thank everyone that showed love and concern in the last few days. Thanks and God bless you all.”
Speaking on behalf of the Assembly staff, the Chairman of the State chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Ayotunde Ojediran, said that the workers were happy to receive the speaker back to the office.
He appreciated the members of staff for remaining resolute and keeping the House running while the trio were away.
Ojediran pledged the commitment and dedication of the entire workers of the House for the overall success of the ninth Assembly. (Punch)