An Osun State High Court has remanded a contractor, John Ojemuyiwa, in prison over alleged theft of about N97 million meant for the construction of an amphitheatre at the State College of Education, Ila-Orangun.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan Zonal office, on Monday dragged the accused alongside his company, Digitpro Engineering Technology Ltd, before the court in Ede.
Mr. Ojemuyiwa was charged with stealing and giving of gratification to public officers. He however pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge.
One of the counts reads: “That you, John Ojekorede Ojemuyiwa, and Digitpro Technology Ltd sometimes in February, 2014 at Ila-Orangun within the Osogbo Judicial Division, stole the sum of N53,837,574.08 only from the sum of N112,810,952.20 advanced to you as mobilization fee for the construction of an amphitheatre by Osun State College of Education, Ila Orangun, Osun State.”
The second count reads: “That you, John Ojekorede Ojemuyiwa, and Digitpro Technology Ltd sometime in February, 2014 at Ila-Orangun within the Osogbo Judicial Division corruptly gave the sum of N43,093,694.36 to members of the Governing Council, Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, through one David Olayinka Olojede of De Capstone Ltd on account of the award of a contract worth N228,298,302.00 and the over payment of mobilization fee to you by the Governing Council and the Management of Osun State College of Education.”
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Oluwatoyin Owodunni, asked the court for a trial date while the defence counsel, Banjo Akinwande, made an oral application for bail. The prosecuting counsel opposed the oral application.
The judge, A.O. Oladimeji, ordered the defence counsel to present a formal application to help the court exercise its discretion on the bail application, in view of the antecedent of the accused person failing to honour the EFCC’s official invitation twice.
Mr. Ojemuyiwa’s journey to the dock followed a petition to the EFCC in April 2016 by the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun, alleging a fraudulent conversion and diversion of N.3billion TETFUND approved for sundry projects at the Osun State College of Education, Ila Orangun.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the matter to May 2 for hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial, and also ruled that Mr. Ojemuyiwa be remanded at the Federal Prison, Ilesha, Osun State.