Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
Ibadan Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested three persons, Babatunde Ologunja, Olusola Olaoye Babatunde and Olufemi Lawal, for allegedly duping Otun-Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun.
The suspects and others still at large were accused of conspiring to dispossess the revered Ibadan High Chief of a huge sum of money running to about N300 million.
Balogun, who is next to Olubadan in Olubadan-in-Council hierarchy, was a Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial district under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) between 1999 and 2003.
THISDAY learnt that his younger brother, Senator Kola Balogun, a serving member of the National Assembly, representing Oyo South, wrote 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.
It was gathered that the younger Balogun feared that the High Chief may 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 hypnotized. 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 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 had received about N300 million through bank transfers from the Ibadan High Chief.
It was further learnt that the commission has designated for possible forfeiture four vehicles and six landed properties traced to the alleged fraudulent activities.
However, it was gathered that EFCC is still on the trail of other fugitives as further investigations are underway.