Nigeria Files Fraud Charges Against Ex-Parliament Speaker

Posted June 7th, 2011 at 8:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Officials in Nigeria have filed fraud charges against the country's outgoing parliament speaker.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the charges filed by prosecutors Tuesday accuse Dimeji Bankole of conspiring to inflate the cost of computers, printers and televisions and of rigging a bid to purchase luxury cars.

The officials say the charges were filed to ensure the former speaker would remain in detention while the anti-corruption agency prepares to file more charges.

The commission suspects Bankole misappropriated at least $60 million in parliamentary funds.

Bankole is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

Authorities detained the former speaker Sunday after a four-hour standoff at his home in Abuja.

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

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