N2.5 Billion Scandal: Speaker Bankole, His Dad, Alani Bankole implicated
Embattled Speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, who is currently enmeshed in the financial scam rocking the Lower House has been implicated in yet another scam – the N5.2 billion Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
Sources close to the two main accused currently standing trial for their role in the scam former Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Nicholas Ugbane and his House of Representatives counterpart, Ndudi Elumelu told Thetimesofnigeria.com exclusively that both Bankole and his father, Alani Bankole, benefited massively from the “fake contract bazaar” to unregistered companies.
Also named in the scam is the immediate past chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Vincent Ogbulafor. He was said to have referred companies to the agency for contract award and some of the companies he referred benefited from the largesse.
The state chairman of PDP in one of the South South state also benefited but is yet to be charged.
According to the source, “I don't know why these guys have chosen to be the fall guys for something that was done by higher ranking officials. These officials benefited more than those standing trial.”
Bankole so far has maintained his innocence saying neither he nor any member of his family was a beneficiary.
“If they open up as I expect them to do many heads will roll. It is unfair for them to let these two guys carry the burden for what they all did. It is just not right.”
The accused currently standing trial so far have refrained from implicating some of their colleagues because they had hoped that both Bankole and Ogbulafor will use their powerful office to engineer a “political solution” that will end their trial but so far this plot has failed.
The accused in the case two weeks ago asked the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko to dismiss the case as the evidence adduced by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission did not link them to the crime.
Today, Banjoko ruled that the trial must proceed saying that the application to dismiss the case lacked merit.
The Judge has ordered EFCC to call its first witness and barring any maneuver the case is expected to proceed expeditiously.
Meanwhile, EFCC is still combing their files and have hinted that others will be charged to court over the illegal looting of the REA fund.
Courtesy Times of Nigeria