The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday in Akure arraigned the Vice Chancellor Of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Gregory Daramola, over allegations of fraud to the tune of N24 million.
The Vice Chancellor was arraigned along with the school’s bursar, Ayodeji Oresegun, for offences of misappropriation of public funds, misuse of office, and obtaining money under force pretense among others.
While Mr. Daramola is facing a nine-count charge, his co-accused is facing a two-count charge of mishandling unpaid funds and fixing funds without due process.
According to the charges, the vice chancellor and the bursar conspired “on or about 21 January, 2015 with intent to defraud to wit illegally place on fixed deposit the money of the Federal University of Technology Akure in a WEMA bank account No 1300002035.”
They were also accused of abuse of office.
“That you Prof. Adebiyi G. Daramola on or about 2nd September, 2016 at Akure within the Akure judicial division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Twenty four Million Two Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand four Hundred and Eighty four naira (24, 223,484.00) from the Federal University of Technology Akure when you falsely represented that the said sum of money was for your Biennial family vacation overseas for the years 2015 and 2016 which representation you knew to be false,” the charge read in part.
The accused persons, who were represented by Adebayo Adenipekun, and O. Theophilus, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them.
Messrs. Adenipekun and Theophilus prayed the court to admit their clients to bail on most liberal terms saying that their offenses were bailable.
They argued that the accused VC and bursar had already been enjoying their administrative bail by the EFCC.
In his own submission, the prosecution counsel, Ben Ubi, objected to their bail application on the ground that an application seeking for bail must place material facts before the court.
Mr. Ubi however asked for short adjournment date from the court to enable him study the grounds for the bail application.
But in his ruling, the presiding judge, Bola Ademola, granted them bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties each who must be public servants, resident within the court jurisdiction with three years tax clearance and two sized passport photographs each.
Justice Ademola thereafter adjourned the case till 20, 21, 22 March, 2017 for mention.
FUTA had been embroiled in a crisis since last year when members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities accused the Vice Chancellor over corruption.
They also filed the petition to the EFCC which resulted in the investigation of the Vice Chancellor, leading to the arraignment on Tuesday.
While reacting to the outcome of the ruling of the judge, the University’s Joint Action Committee Chairman, Dele Durojaye, expressed satisfaction with the arraignment, noting that it was in line with the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.