Top Nigerian Lawmaker Arrested on Fraud Charges

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 9:40 am (UTC-5)
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Nigeria's anti-corruption agency has arrested a top lawmaker for allegedly defrauding the government of tens of millions of dollars.

Authorities say they detained the outgoing speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, after a four-hour standoff at his home in Abuja on Sunday night.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission suspects Bankole misappropriated at least $60 million of parliamentary funds.

Bankole had told the agency he would turn himself in for questioning on Monday. But EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi says officials decided to act after an intelligence report showed the lawmaker planned to flee the country on Sunday.

A spokesman for Bankole has denied the lawmaker benefited from his position as House speaker.

Bankole lost a re-election bid in April and served as speaker until Friday, when the outgoing House held its final meeting.