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New finds in the House, EFCC guards Bankole’s deputy in hospital

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Nafada in road mishap

Arraigns Bankole over fresh N40b loan

‘Ex-speaker, deputy took N12b three days to exit’

THERE seems to be no respite yet for the former leadership of the House of Representatives. While the former Speaker Dimeji Bankole is fighting in court to regain his freedom, at least on bail, his then deputy, Usman Bayero Nafada, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court had last Friday deferred bail for Bankole till today but his planned arraignment over fresh charges may worsen his ordeal.

The Guardian learnt last night that Nafada would be arraigned alongside Bankole on allegations of illegal procurement of about N40 billion loan and misappropriation of same today before another court in Abuja.

The EFCC, which earlier confirmed the arrest of Nafada at 4 00 p.m. said late last night that the former deputy speaker had an accident on his way to honour the commission’s invitation.

EFCC spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said Nafada was in the hospital under the watch of the commission’s operatives and would be arraigned today.

Babfemi said: “Information reaching me now indicates that ex-Deputy Speaker Usman Nafada was involved in an accident on his way to honour our invitation. He is said to be receiving treatment in a hospital where EFCC operatives also keep surveillance around him. Please reflect accordingly in your report.”

Nafada, according to EFCC sources will be quizzed over an alleged withdrawal of N12 billion three days to the end of their tenure apart from the N10 billion loan. This money is part of the N40 billion they are being arraigned today. He was one of the six former legislators from the House of Representatives invited by the EFCC over the loan crisis.

Bankole is already facing a 16-count charge of misappropriating N9 billion capital project funds through contract inflation.

A source at the EFCC told The Guardian that Bankole and Nafada would be arraigned before another court. The source added that “we invited Nafada yesterday and we have decided to arraign him over another set of offences.”

Babafemi had earlier said Nafada had been detained in connection with a different case but did not give details.

In the wake of his arrest, Bankole had issued a statement on how the controversial N10 billion loan was shared by the former House leadership. He however absolved himself and Nafada from benefitting from it.

According Bankole, his successor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and others were the beneficiaries.

Already, the EFCC has launched investigation into alleged $1 billion account allegedly being operated by Bankole and his purported ownership of the 37-storey NECOM House in Lagos.

A panel, which probed the sale of the house to Bankole, in its report, declared that due process was breached in the deal. It therefore called for the revocation of the exercise.

In its 32-page report, the panel also asked the Federal Government to refer the liquidator to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for necessary action.

Meanwhile, a former member of the Lower House for Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency and member of the Progressive Group in the sixth House, Dino Melaye, has said the current ordeal of Bankole is a confirmation that “no error can be dressed with the outer garb of truth.”

Melaye, who had a running battle with Bankole over alleged graft and was suspended and later recalled, said he had no hand with the former Speaker’s ordeal with the EFCC.

At a reception for the new member of the Kogi State Assembly representing Mopamuro constituency, Michael Folusho Daniel, Melaye told reporters in Amuro, Mopamuro Local Council of Kogi State that it would be preposterous to assume that he was responsible for Bankole’s arrest and trial.

“It will be prejudicial to comment on this issue because the matter is in court, but one thing I can tell you is that a sinner will not go unpunished and I stand by that. The battle to liberate the country from the cankerworm of corruption is a battle of no retreat no surrender,” he said.

Melaye, who failed in his bid to return to the House, hinted that he planned to float a group” to complement the government’s fight against corruption.

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Updated 6 Years ago

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Tags:     Efcc     Speaker Dimeji Bankole     Nigerian Speaker Arraigned     Deputy Usman Nafada