Saturday, October 31, 2009


Come 29 October 2009, all other things being equal, the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers would sit at their normal venue, the Court of Appeal Headquarters Building, Abuja.
At the sitting of the LPDC a prominent feature is that of Mr. Dele Kelvin Oye, veteran prosecutor for the Nigerian Bar Association. He is well known to the members of the committee their registrars and staff and of course the defendants and their counsel.
A pleasant and ordinarily amiable character, Oye would be seen interacting freely with people wearing a friendly mien even with those facing his prosecutorial harpoons.
Given the deep politics and bitter, even dangerous intrigues that sometimes colour or follow cases before the Committee, Oye’s constant strategy could be likened to that of the proverbial Lagos city rat that eats so much off the sole of slumberer’s foot by blowing cool air gently on the foot before and after every bite! The constant mantra on Mr. Oye’s lip while ‘killing the defendant slowly, as it were is “I am only doing my duty, you know we are all colleagues.”
As things stand now, it is doubtful whether Mr. Oye, a 1989 graduate of the Nigerian Law School, would ever return to his familiar turf of prosecutor before the LPDC.
In late August 2009 in the wake of the recent tsunami, violently rocking the banking industry in the country, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) declared Dele Oye, who also to be the chairman of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce a wanted man, in connection with alleged financial crimes related to Intercontinental Bank.
Geckos informed the Squib that Oye ran into troubled waters with the EFCC, when in the course of investigating the Intercontinental Bank, some companies such as Flotsome, Prisky Gold Nigerian Ltd, Dilvent Int’l Ltd, Marricross and Circular Global had suspicious interactions with the Intercontinental Bank.
The EFCC wasted no time in tracing and finding the supposed Directors of these companies who are lawyers but who turned up at the EFCC to claim that they knew nothing about the companies. All the lawyers happened to be juniors working in Dele Oye chambers.
When their employer was summoned by the EFCC, Oye thought it best to flee instead of honouring the invitation. The EFCC has since sealed up the gentleman’s office in Abuja.
According to our sources, the alleged financial deals of Mr. Dele Oye totalled some 6.5billion naira.
Though on the run, Oye whose disappearance is now frustrating the prosecution of some disciplinary matters before the LPDC, has not been completely incommunicado.
The Squib successfully monitored Dele Oye’s off and on communications with a select few with whom he always pleads his innocence claiming that his travails is due to nothing other than fierce turf-possession politics in the banking industry, with the emergence of Lamido Sanusi as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“My indictment is nothing more than politics” he says, from hiding. Some people are however advising that the NBA prosecutor is better served by stepping out to confront the EFCC and his other detractors, with facts and figures of his innocence.
One of these observers told the Squib-“Oye should stop being a fugitive. He should come back home and face his trial like a man, if he indeed is innocent. Nobody proves his innocence by running away from the accusers, rather you suggest that you are guilty as charged. If he is afraid of detention he should know that the court will grant him bail just as they did to the bank executives. In Nigeria when the allegation of fraud against you is very weighty, the courts grant you bail, especially when you are a respectable and prominent individual, And the chairman of the Abuja Chambers of Commerce is prominent enough a person.” He can also be sure that if indeed the EFCC is merely persecuting him, that the NBA whom he has served for so many years would rise to his defence.

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