EFCC stalls N177m IAR&T fraud case


Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan, on Tuesday adjourned till June 22 hearing of the written addresses in the alleged N177 million fraud case at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T).
The EFCC had in 2015 instituted the case against Prof. Benjamin Ogunbodede, the former Director of IAR&T, as well as Zachus Tejumola, Clement Adenose and 10 others.
Ayo-Emmanuel adjourned the case based on the plea of the EFCC counsel, Mr Adeola Elumero, who said that the commission needed more time to complete its written address.
“Anything worth doing at all is worth doing well for the purpose of arriving at a just decision on this matter. “I think that there is need for an adjournment in this case to enable the counsel to file his written address. “This will be the last adjournment at the instance of the prosecution,” the judge ruled.
Jounalists recalls that both the prosecution and all the defence counsel had closed their cases since May 5. The case did not also hold on the last adjourned date at the instance of the EFCC.
All the defence counsel–Mr Tunde Olupana, S.A. Salawu and Mrs Yetunde Adegboye– had earlier submitted that the anti-graft body was deliberately wasting time and prolonging the stay of their clients in detention.
Journalists reports that Ogunbodede, Tejumola and Adenose, and the 10 other accused persons had been standing trial over multiple charges bordering on conspiracy as well as conversion and stealing of hazard allowance of staff of IART.
Ten other accused persons had in 2016 pleaded guilty and entered into plea bargain arrangement with the EFCC which resulted in their conviction.