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Court Summons Ogun Assembly Over Probe Of Former OPIC MD

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Monday summoned the Ogun State House of Assembly following the report of its alleged probe of a former Managing Director of the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC), Jide Odusolu.

Justice P. O. Life asked the OGHA to show cause within three days why it should not be restrained from proceeding with the case of or setting the law against Odusolu.

The OGHA, during the plenary on September 21, 2012, adopted the report of its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Public Accounts, which allegedly investigated OPIC’s finances and concluded that N2,579,771,717.71 was unaccounted for under Odusolu’s watch.

The Assembly also directed Odusolu to return the N40 million allegedly unaccounted for 2019 into the State Government’s purse within six months.

But Odusolu alleged victimisation, witch-hunt, procedural irregularities and rights violation by the lawmakers.

He filed the suit, listing the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State and the Ogun State House of Assembly and the Attorney-General of Ogun State as respondents.

The applicant is seeking declarations that the OGHA proceedings and the report of the Committee which it purportedly adopted constitute an infringement on his fundamental right to a fair hearing.

He contended that the Ogun State House of Assembly lacks the competence to investigate an alleged crime, that the Chairman of the Committee that purported to investigate OPIC funds was himself an interested party who served together with him in the previous administration and even inspected some OPIC projects which he now claims have not been executed.

Odusolu also sought an order of injunction to restrain the Assembly from deploying the report to initiate any criminal complaint against him before the police and to restrain the police from acting on the said report pending the hearing and final determination of the suit pending in court.

In his 40-paragraph affidavit, Odusolu averred that he was being persecuted by the Committee and some Assembly members.

The suit was filed on his behalf by Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

The reliefs sought by Odusolu include N10billion as general, punitive and aggravated damages against the OGHA for the violation of his fundamental rights.

It includes a declaration that the procedure leading to the report and decision against him constitutes a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights and is therefore unconstitutional, null and void.

Others include an order nullifying the report, an injunction restraining the 4th Respondent from using its report and decision against him, and an injunction restraining the police from inviting, arresting, detaining or in any other manner hindering the full exercise of the Applicant’s liberty and fundamental rights as guaranteed under the Constitution.

The judge adjourned till November 1, 2021, for hearing.

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