The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned the Federal University Technology, Akure (FUTA) Vice-chancellor, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola and its Bursar, Mr. Ayodeji Oresegun at the Ondo State High Court in Akure over alleged N156.9 million fraud.
Daramola and Oresegun were invited in October last year by the anti-graft commission following a petition submitted by the non-teaching staff of the institution on alleged abuse of office.
Those behind their travails were the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria University (SSANU), National Association of Academics Technologists (NAAT), and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) FUTA chapters.
The University had been enmeshed with crisis as the workers have been protesting, calling for the removal of the VC and also urging the EFCC to prosecute him at the law court.
At the court, the embattled VC, who was arraigned by the EFCC Ibadan zone office, Oyo State was charged with nine count charges, while the Bursar was charged with two count charges.
In the charge sheet, the VC was alleged to have obtained the sum of N17,357,785 million under false pretence between 2012 and 2016 for accommodation allowances, whereas he was living in government quarters.
This, the EFCC said was contrary to section 1 (2) of the Advance fee fraud and other fraud related offences Act 2006.
Other charges in the sheet read that, “You Professor Daramola on or about October 30, 2014 at Akure within the Akure Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the some of N15,401,186.33 only from the FUTA when you falsely represented that the said sum of money was for
your Biennial family vacation overseas for the years 2013 and 2014, which representation you know to be false
“That you Prof. Daramola on or about September 2, 2016 at Akure within the Akure Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N24,223,484 only from the FUTA, when you falsely represented that the said sum of money money was for your Biennial family vacation overseas for the year 2015 and 2016, which representation you knew to be false.
“Conspiracy to steal money contrary to section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. 1 laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you, Professor Daramola and Oresegun on or about the January 21, 2015, at Akure within the Akure Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, conspired to place on fix deposit the sum of N100,000,000 only property of the FUTA in a WEMA bank account 1300002035 without due process”.
The VC and the Bursar pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel ot the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Adebayo Adenipekun, SAN, sought the court to give his client bail, saying Daramola has been on administrative bail since he has not breached any of the conditions given by EFCC.
Adenipekun said, “we filed application for bail on last Friday through the court. When defendants are arraigned, oral file for bail is allowed.
“It has to be oral application for bail when the accused has been arraigned. They are entitle to bail.
He cited the case of M.K O Abiola versus Federal government in 1995, Nigeria report at page 187.
Ibukun fasanmi, who was the client of the Bursar, aligned with the submission of the counsel to the first defendant.
But, the EFCC lawyer, Ben Ubi objected to the application saying the defendants failed to place material facts before the court.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola granted the suspects bail with the sum of N10million each.
The judge said they are also expected to provide two sureties of Professors or level 17 officers status.
The court, however ordered the suspects to be detained at the State Investigation Bureau (SIB) in Akure pending the time they meet their bail conditions.
Meanwhile, as the time f filling this report, the court was still in session.
There was, however, a mild drama at the main entrance of the court as hundreds of the FUTA workers who besieged the court premises nearly clashed with the students, who were at the court to show solidarity with the embattled Vice-Chancellor.
It took the intervention of the security operatives before normacly was returned.