Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, has arrested three persons for allegedly duping the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, Lekan Balogun, who is the second in command to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I.
The names of the suspects were given as Babatunde Ologunja, Olusola Olaoye Babatunde and Olufemi Lawal by the anti-graft agency.
According to EFCC, the suspects and others still at large were being accused of conspiring to dispossess the revered Ibadan high chief of about N300m.
Balogun represented Oyo South Senatorial District in the National Assembly on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) from 1999 to 2003.
His younger brother, Dr. Kola Balogun, currently representing the same Oyo South in the Senate was said to have written an emotional petition to the EFCC as ‘a ‘concerned member of the Aliwo family’, seeking the commission’s intervention in smashing the syndicate and ensuring that the members were made to pay for their alleged crime.
The younger Balogun feared that the high chief might have been charmed by the suspected fraudsters as he was still unable to come to terms with the reality of his situation.
“This request became necessary because we believe strongly that the victim has been hypnotised; he is not in a position to admit it and his health condition is deteriorating,” the senator stated in the petition.
The EFCC stated that preliminary investigations into the allegations revealed that for the past four years, the suspects have consistently collected various sums of money from the high chief.
The sums, according to findings, were not attached to any particular projects and no receipts were issued to indicate the existence of any genuine transactions between the parties.
As the time of their arrest, the syndicate were said to have received about N300m through bank transfers from the Otun Olubadan.
The commission is fight for possible forfeiture of four vehicles and six landed properties traced to their alleged fraudulent activities.
The EFCC is still on the trail of their fugitive partners, as further investigations are underway.