Saturday, May 28, 2011

N10bn scam: Bankole writes EFCC, begs to appear Tuesday

THE interrogation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dimeji Bankole, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N10 billion scam could not be carried out as planned on Thursday, due to a profuse apology from the suspect, seeking a fresh appearance date.

Summoned by the commission for allegedly misapplying public funds, Bankole sent a letter on Thursday, blaming his non-availability on alleged involvement in handover ceremonies.

His letter seeking the understanding of the commission was penned by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Mr Sanni Omolori and addressed to the chairperson of the commission, Mrs Farida Waziri.
The letter, which the clerk noted was written at Bankole’s behest, sought the cooperation of the commission on his absence, with the speaker leaving the new date for his interrogation at the prerogative of the commission.

The spokesperson of the commission, Mr Femi Babafemi, confirmed the receipt of Bankole’s letter.

It was gathered that Tuesday, May 31, had been picked by the commission for his appearance and questioning.

The date was said to have been communicated to him. The time reportedly fixed for him was 11.00 a.m.

Babafemi confirmed the new date, but declined further comments on the matter.

The House had fixed its valedictory session for Tuesday and Wednesday.

It was also learnt that the fresh alleged corruption case might re-open the alleged N2.3 billion car scam involving the Speaker.

Some youths had petitioned the commission, demanding Bankole’s probe over the N10 billion loan which had seen many members being unable to get their monthly salaries and allowances.

The youth group was led by Mr Jumoke Ilyasu.

Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has also said it was probing Bankole over the alleged N10 billion loan, on the basis of a petition brought against him by a rights group, SERAP.

Spokesperson of the ICPC, Mr Folu Olamiti, said that investigation was ongoing in the matter.

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