17 May 2018

Nigeria: Court Acquits Former University Vice Chancellor Accused of Fraud

The High Court in Abeokuta on Wednesday, ruled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has not established any case against the former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNNAB), Abeokuta, Olusola Oyewole, and two others over an alleged fraud of N842 million.

The court therefore discharged and acquitted the accused persons.

The former Vice Chancellor as well as a senator, Adeseye Ogunlewe (former Pro Chancellor) and Olusola Ilesanmi (Bursar), were arraigned by the EFCC on November 25, 2016, following a petition accusing them of criminal offences.

The trio, in a case which lasted over one and half years at High Court 6, faced an 18-count charge which included fraud, abuse of office, stealing and obtaining money under false pretence among others.

The court however ruled that there were lack of evidences to convince the court it that the accused committed the crimes, stressing that the petitioners also gave evidence of information from third party, with no iota of evidence.

In her final ruling, the judge, Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, noted that evidences by all the 11 witnesses showed lack of evidence and therefore set all the accused free, saying, "the prosecutor has not established any prima facie case against all the accused, and I hereby discharge and acquit them."

The counsel for the accused, Benjamin Ogunmodede, in his response to the judgement, thanked the court for allowing justice to prevail, while in the same vein, the counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ben Obi, expressed appreciation to the court.

Meanwhile, after the ruling, the former Vice-Chancellor, Olusola Oyewole, in company of his wife and other family members drove to their church located in Gbonagun area of Abeokuta, for a thanksgiving service.

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