Former Nigerian official admits giving lawmakers N50 million ‘gratification’

House of Reps

Benjamin Ogunbodede, a professor and former director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, has said that he gave N50 million to some members of the National Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the embattled former director is standing trial before a Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan over alleged N177 million hazard allowance fraud.

Testifying before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, Mr. Ogunbodede named one Gbenga Makanjuola, the then house committee chairman on agriculture, as one of the recipients of the N50 million gratifications.

Mr. Makanjuola could not be immediately reached.

The former director, standing trial with two others, however, refused to mention names of other members of the committee, Senate members and officials of the Ministry of Finance who received the N50 million gratifications.

Mr. Ogunbodede stated that the sum served as a thank you gesture to the NASS members and others who facilitated the quick release of N606 million, which was the school’s grant from the Federal Government.

“Makanjuola was one of the House of Representative members from the South-West on the committee who was paid the gratification,” the ex-director said.

He further confessed that the school did not actually raise fund from philanthropists contrary to his earlier testimony in court.

Tendering the earlier statement which Mr. Ogunbodede had made before the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, counsel to EFCC, contended that the witness lied when he told the court that he raised money from the friends to execute some projects in the school.

The court also admitted in evidence many documents by various panels of inquiry that had indicted Mr. Ogunbodede.

However, Tunde Olupona, the defense counsel, opposed some of the submissions made by the prosecution.

Justice Ayo-Emmanuel adjourned the matter till April 7 for continuation of trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Mr. Ogunbodede, Zachius Tejumola and Clement Adenose have since 2014 been standing trial on multiple charges bordering conspiracy, forgery, conversion and stealing N177,571,609 million.

The amount was meant to pay hazard allowances of workers of the institution.

NAN reports that one other accused and his nine companies, earlier arraigned with Mr. Ogunbodede, in 2016 entered into a plea bargain and were indicted and consequently convicted.

The fourth accused, Jalekun Omitowoju, a contractor, and his companies, were allegedly conduits through which the former director embezzled the money. (NAN)


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  • Michael

    Lawbreakers indeed!

  • Onye Obosi

    Na today?
    We know them already, what we don’t know is who will lead the revolution
    Against those thieves and shenanigans in National Assembly.
    Elumelu, Farouk Lawan,… name them.
    Case closed!

  • tundemash

    And yet one cl0wn caled @Sanssouci claimed he has resolved to follow Saraki (a.k.a Sarakonda) so that he can “move” on ! The Senate is a house of fraud !

    • Gary

      The accused said he gave money to a House member in 2014 and you still manage to use that to attack the Senate under Saraki?
      Amazing how far you E-rats ignore common sense in waging your campaign against the institutions of government. Buhari is old and ailing yet you press on with trying to make him a civilian dictator. Not going to happen.

      • tundemash

        Olodo, is there a difference between the Senate of 2014 and the Senate under Saraki Sarakonda except that the stealing has now multiplied ?
        That old and civilian dictator is now trying to retrieve your destiny stolen by the young and vibrant crooks in teh near past.

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    The Evil Assembly misnamed the National Assembly represents the worst of Nigeria’s proclivity for graft and unless the citizens stand up and fight these high level thieves to the death you may forget any hope of a turnaround for this hapless nation.

  • Peaceometer

    During GEJ reign, it doesn’t take much time to pass budget at all. Now, I know why our budget is passing through scrutiny now.

  • share Idea

    They said that GEJ was not fighting corruption but evidence abound about his diligent prosecution of corruption cases without selective application of the rule of law like in this case

    • Nkem

      That crook criminal is the worst thing that ever happened to Nigeria.

    • TruthBeSaid

      Where did his wife get millions of dollars and the money for a multi-billion Naira hotel?

      Just a question, no malice intended.

      A diligent prosecutor of corruption cases will have fumed at the revelation of a gigantic $20 billion fraud in the NNPC, but what got was the firing of the whistle-blower.

      • share Idea

        Did you just arrived in Nigeria or where you not in the country when GEJ government engaged PWC to carry out forensic investigation on the allegation of missing $49B or $20B or $10B. Nigeria we hail thee

        • TruthBeSaid

          The kangaroo ForenSICK InvestiAssCovering done by GEJ? Come on dude!

          Any sincere investigator will give every support to a whistle-blower – not fire him. How about that?

          • share Idea

            Please can your MR integrity hire such people to clear the GRASS-CUTTING SGF and Magu that does not know how much his accommodation cost (how his accommodation was provided). Nigeria we hail thee

    • tundemash

      ShareDunce, can you give us examples of those “diligent prosecution of corruption cases without selective application of the rule of law” ? How may fuel subsidy fraudsters were prosecuted ? How many judges were prosecuted ? How many ex-military chiefs were prosecuted ? etc.

      Or could you “diligent prosecution of corruption cases without selective application of the rule of law” mean stealing is no corruption as preached by your Otuoke Cl0wn ?

      • A.A.Ngalos

        Almost all the corrupt cases before the Nigerian Courts today were done during the last PhD holder.

        • Julius

          So true !

  • TrueFairGame

    Nigeria my country !

  • stanejike

    A thank-you gift? Did he force you to? You know atimes in Nigeria we “force” corruption on officials thinking we are showing gratitude in case of another day! When I was a HOD in a university, I signed some supply papers for a contractor for some items needed by my dept but to be paid for by the university. When he got his pay, he came to my office with some bottles of wines and a brown envelope containing some cash to say “thank you”. I was somehow embarrassed because I never asked him for such nor did I in any way insinuate it during the transactions. But he insisted it’s from his heart and if I refuse it he will feel bad, that that is the way to go in Nigeria bla bla bla…. To cut the story short, I collected only the drinks so as not to make him feel bad and politely told him not to bother himself next time. Now, tell me, who is the corrupt person in this instance? I just want us to be careful before jumping into conclusion in all these gratification allegations!