THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, has arrested three persons, Babatunde Ologunja, Olusola Olaoye Babatunde and Olufemi Lawal for allegedly duping the Otun-Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun.
The suspects and others at large were accused of conspiring to dispossess the revered Ibadan high chief of sums running to about N300million (Three Hundred Million Naira).
Balogun, who is next to the Olubadan in the Olubadan-in-Council hierarchy, was a senator who represented Oyo South Senatorial District on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) between 1999 and 2003.
His younger brother, Dr. Kola Balogun, who is now representing Oyo South Senatorial District, had 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 members are 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 said in the petition.
Preliminary investigations into the allegations showed that for the past four years, the suspects have collected sums of money from the high chief.
The sums, according to findings, were not attached to any particular project and no receipts were issued to indicate the existence of genuine transactions between the parties.
As the time of their arrest, the syndicate had received about N300million through bank transfers from the Ibadan high chief.
EFCC has designated for possible forfeiture, four vehicles and six landed properties traced to their alleged fraudulent activities.
The anti-graft agency is on the trail of the suspects’ fugitive partners, as further investigations are underway.