Free at last: EFCC releases Edo Assembly Speaker, others

by Iyobosa Omoregie

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today released the Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Uyi Igbe; Majority Leader, Philip Shaibu and the Chief Whip, Folly Ogedengbe.

The three principal officers of the House were invited by the anti-graft agency for allegedly forging the signature of another state lawmaker.

Their detention since Wednesday has sparked protests from members of the House affiliated with the All Progressives Congress (APC). They alleged that the accusations were politically motivated and urged the EFCC to release them forthwith.

Following their release, the Speaker spoke with newsmen at the Benin Airport assuring Edo State citizens of his commitment in carrying out his Constitutional duties without any fear of intimidation.

Igbe said, “I was under the impression that they were to investigate financial misappropriations, only for us to get there and issues that concerned the House of Assembly was what they(EFCC officials) were bringing up.

“What they were telling us was that somebody alleged that we forged the signature among the signatures that we used to impeach the former Deputy Speaker, Festus Ebea.

“I was taken completely aback. Then again, I’m not too surprised because we all know that this is the systematic way they have been using to harass and intimidate us since.

“But I want them to know that this is only going to make us stronger. We will remain focused. We will not shake. We refuse to be intimidated.”

Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has said that it has charged 22 suspects in connection with last Saturday’s attack at the Edo State House of Assembly Legislators’ Quarters to an Oredo Magistrate Court in Benin.

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