Sunday, June 5, 2011

Outgoing Speaker Dimeji Bankole arrested

After almost two weeks of evading arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegedN10 billion scam and other financial crime the antigraft body yesterday arrested the speaker at about 8 pm after about four hours of resisting arrest.

EFCC explained that the former Speaker had to be arrested ahead of the Monday date he gave to surrender himself because he was discovered to be plotting other schemes to thwart his voluntary surrender or arrest on Monday.

The Commmision in a statement signed by its Head of Media & Publicity, Femi Babafemi on Sunday said “Farida Waziri, EFCC Chairman was compelled to order the immediate arrest of Bankole after analyzing an intelligence report which showed that the former Speaker was planning to leave Abuja for Lagos on Sunday evening and thereafter flee the country through an illegal route”.

It will be recalled that Bankole had twice shunned two invitations extended to him in the last two weeks by the EFCC, an impunity that climaxed last Friday when he resisted attempts by operatives to arrest him in his Asokoro, Abuja residence.

The EFCC operatives had to be withdrawn after over five hours stand-off after a commitment from Bankole that he was going to surrender himself on Monday.

“While our men kept surveillance around the former speaker hoping he will honour his promise to report on Monday, a fresh intelligence gathered by the Commission showed that Bankole was not ready to keep his promise but was rather planning other schemes to escape from the country through an illegal route or obtain a restraining court order early on Monday to prevent the Commission from effecting his arrest or prosecution”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the former Speaker will remain in custody to enable him have sufficient time to answer questions on the numerous fraud allegations against him.

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