N800 million university fraud: You have a case to answer, court tells ex-minister

Former Minister of Works Adeseye Ogunlewe [Photo Credit: Daily Post]

An Abeokuta High Court on Friday ruled that a former Minister of Works and Housing, Adeseye Ogunlewe, has a case to answer over alleged misappropriation of N800 million at Federal University of Agriculture, FUNAAB, Abeokuta, when he was pro-chancellor of the institution.

Mr. Ogunlewe is standing trial alongside the Vice Chancellor of the university, Olusola Oyewole, and the Bursar, Moses Ilesanmi, in the matter filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

They were arraigned on November 25, 2016 on an 18 -count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, obtaining money by false pretence and abuse of office.

Mr. Ogunlewe had approached the court to quash the charges against him on the grounds of “misjoinder of offences, misjoinder of offenders and duplicity”.

The former minister, through his counsel, Tayo Oyetibo, had argued in support of the application that the proof of evidence did not link him with the charges or disclose any prima facie against him.

He also claimed that the consent of the Attorney General of Ogun State/Law officer was not obtained by the prosecution as required by law before the charges were filed.‎

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)

However, at the resumed hearing of the matter, after the adoption of the written addresses made by the parties, Justice O. C Majekodunmi ruled in favour of the EFCC.

All the grounds raised by Mr. Ogunlewe’s counsel at Thursday’s sitting were dismissed.

The prosecution counsel, Ben Ubi, thereafter sought for commencement of trial.  He informed the court that there were three witnesses in court ready to testify.

But all the counsel to the three accused persons sought for an adjournment on the ground that they were just served additional proof of evidence and would need time to study the documents.

The court conceded to their application and adjourned the case to March 8 and 10 for commencement of trial.

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