Former Chairman of Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yinka Farounbi, has been arrested over his alleged involvement in fraud to the tune of N25 million belonging to the association.
Faronbi was arrested on Monday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at Ikeja during the monthly meeting, which usually holds at the branch’s Bar center.
Prior to the arrest of the former Ikeja NBA chairman, he was said to have been invited alongside the immediate past chairman of the Bar, Adesuna Ogunlana, but he allegedly ignored the invitation while Ogunlana was said to have honored the invitation.
Farounbi was arrested following a petition written by one Gabriel Opayinka alongside two others. Three members of the Ikeja NBA, including Gabriel Opayinka, were alleged to have petitioned the EFCC alleging N25 million fraud during the last administration led by Ogunlana.
Newsmen report that he submitted himself to the operatives who came in their numbers to arrest him.
The immediate past chairman, Ogunlana, was said to have been arrested at his Ikorodu Road, Onipanu law firm after his initial refusal to honour the anti-graft agency’s invitation and was released after spending three nights at the EFCC custody.
It was gathered that Farounbi was invited for interrogation by the EFCC when investigation revealed that he was still signing bank cheques despite the fact that his tenure had lapsed.
It was also alleged that Farounbi and another signatory were prevailed upon to sign some cheques to execute some urgent programmes of the NBA Ikeja branch as the Ogunlana-led executive was yet to effect change of bank signatories as a result of the crisis that engulfed the Bar after their election.
A source within the Bar informed journalists that the meeting of the lawyers was in progress when EFCC operatives suddenly showed up, enquired for Farounbi, that they wanted to arrest him.
The Ikeja branch NBA chairman, Dele Oloke, was alleged to have identified Farounbi to the EFCC operatives for arrest, a development that infuriated the lawyers.
It was said that Opayinka and two others owned up to the petition submitted to the EFCC, alleging N25 million fraud in the Bar.
The source also said that the situation turned chaotic as lawyers, who were not happy about the invasion of their meeting by the EFCC operatives, resisted the arrest of Farounbi and chastised Oloke for not protecting the branch’s former chairman.
During the crisis, a female operative of the EFCC was allegedly assaulted.
The female EFCC operative, whose jacket was torn, had an injury on her neck as a result of the assault while her colleagues said they would not leave the NBA, Ikeja Bar Centre, until those who assaulted her were arrested.
The development made the EFCC operatives to call for reinforcement from their office following their initial failed attempt to arrest Farounbi.
However, before their arrival, Farounbi gave himself up and was driven away in a Toyota Hiace bus marked BWR 643 GA.