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OYHA Account Freezing: How Oyo speaker hurried back to Nigeria

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Ojo Peter, Ibadan 

Members of the Oyo State House of Assembly (OYHA), were surprised to see their speaker, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, who had jetted out to the United States of America on an undisclosed trip before the Eid-el Kabir holiday returned to the House, yesterday.

Orient Daily investigation showed that though most of the lawmakers got to know about the speaker’s foreign trip few days ago, they also did not know he had arrived.

The assembly, this Orient Daily understands, has been under intense scrutiny in recent times, following the freezing of its account and that of the director of finance, DFA.

The DFA was said to have incurred the wrath of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for initially failing to honour an invitation of the commission.

A Post-No-Debit, PND, was placed on the accounts of OYHA and the DFA. PND directive restricts a person from withdrawing funds from the bank account.

An official of the EFCC said, though, the finance director later appeared after her account was frozen, the process of unfreezing the account after a PND order had been issued was a long one.

Orient Daily understands that for many weeks now, the house cannot access its funds, thereby denying the lawmakers access to funds for their monthly running cost.

This is because the EFCC has been checking the books of the assembly over alleged financial impropriety involving procurements of official cars for the 32 lawmakers and other officials.

The official cars, the petitioner had alleged, were below the quality and expectations of the members.

Some of the official cars according to the petition to EFCC were said to have developed mechanical faults less than six months into delivery to the legislators.

It will be recalled that Ogundoyin had, few days before traveling, said the assembly followed due process and had nothing to hide regarding the said car procurement contract.

The source also said that the EFCC picked up some top officials on Monday and remained at the antigraft agency’s office for several hours after series of grilling.

The EFCC is said to be expanding its investigation about the House to also include constituency allocation funds, running costs and others.

Unconfirmed report also suggests that some lawmakers with ‘questionable amounts’ in their accounts, would be invited.

The source further noted that it was for the purpose of widening its investigative scope that the antigraft agency froze the Assembly account to

Angered by this development, some of the lawmakers, against their traditional way of postponing plenary sitting in the speaker’s absence, were said to have perfected plans to go ahead with yesterday’s plenary with or without Ogundoyin.

Afraid of what the outcome might be, an insider told Orient Daily that the speaker, who might have been earlier informed by one of his trusted allies among the lawmakers, surfaced few minutes before the planned plenary.

His colleagues were surprised to see Ogundoyin, who had jetted out to the United States of America on an undisclosed trip before the Eid-el Kabir holiday surprisingly returned to the House yesterday. He was later allowed to preside.

We didn’t compare Sunday Igboho with Prophet Mohammed – Afenifere (NN) 

… says Sahara Reporters publication sensational, libellous

Ojo Peter, Ibadan

The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has denied comparing Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, to Prophet Muhammad, describing Sahara Reporters publication as sensational and libellous.

Afenifere in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, said the group never made such comparison nor implied it in any form.

“Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous and unfounded insinuation making the rounds on what Afenifere said on Mr Sunday Igboho, the Yoruba nation agitator, who is presently on trial in Benin Republic.

“Afenifere, the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, has people of different faiths in its fold. Muslim members occupy eminent positions in the organisation like adherents of other faiths.”

It added: “To set the record straight, we hereby present the circumstance that gave birth to the unfounded insinuation. On Monday, July 25, 2021, we issued a statement in which we lauded Olubadan of Ibadan, Ooni of Ife and other Obas for sending delegations to Cotonou in the wake of Sunday Igboho’s trial.

“In the statement, an illusion was made to the condemnation being hauled at Igboho ‘for running away’ from Nigeria.

“It is so sad that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is concentrating on hunting and harassing those who are seeking relief from the oppressive situation in Nigeria while shying away from tackling the menaces of kidnapping, terrorism and antics bordering on ethnic cleansing.

“On the propriety of Sunday Igboho trying to escape abroad, Afenifere maintained that there is nothing strange or wrong with this, adding that history is replete with conveyors of a new order having to seek refuge outside their immediate environment at least for a time.

“We recall that Moses had to be taken away from the prying eyes of Pharaoh and his agents in Egypt. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) too, had to leave his hometown, Mecca for Medina in orderto escape persecution. Thus, there is nothing wrong in Igboho seeking a respite, first, to preservehis life and perhaps, to re-strategize.

Afenifere under Chief Adebanjo, accused the federal government of going after freedom agitators while neglecting those who are known to be behind terrorism in the country.

“From the above, it could be seen that the reference made to the two Prophets, Moses and Muhammad (s.a.w.) was in the context of seeking refuge from persecution. No reference whatsoever, in form of comparison to the persons of the highly referred Prophets and Igboho, as there was absolutely no reason for such.

“Various media used the story. None, except Sahara Reporters, came up with a headline that was clearly sensational and libellous. In none of other media platforms, especially traditional media, did such insinuation appear. Indeed, the body of the story published by Sahara Reporters has no bearing with the sensational and unprofessional headline it cast.

“Its handling of the story was so condemnable that it had even pulled it down from its platform – with apology. If it were sure of the veracity of its report, why pulling it down – with apology?

The conduct of Sahara Reporters in this case is saddening, in view of the efforts being made to ensure that the media is not gagged.

“Giving the recognition members of Afenifere have for all religious faiths and the high regards we have for Prophets of God, there is no way we would liken an individual to these prophets, least of all, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w), the release added.

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