Former senior Nigerian officials jailed 40 years for corruption

Federal High Court

A former Director-General of the Ibadan-based Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Benjamin Ogunmodede, was on Tuesday sentenced to 40 years in jail for corruption.

Mr. Ogunmodede, a professor of agriculture, was convicted and sentenced with two others, Zackeus Tejumola and Adenekan Clement, former Chief Accountant and a staff with the research institute respectively.

While the DG and the Chief Accountant were sentenced to 40 years imprisonment, the staff was sentenced to four years in jail.

“Ogunbodede and Tejumola are therefore sentenced to 40 years imprisonment each for their roles for counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16,” said the judge, Ayo Emmanuel.

The sentences will, however, run concurrently and are without the option of fine, the judge said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in 2015 arraigned the trio before the Federal High Court in Ibadan on 16-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful diversion, stealing of subvention to the institute and other criminal charges.

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Justice Emmanuel ruled that the convicts stole N177 million from N600 million released to the institute as subvention by the federal government to pay salaries and execute projects.

The judge said the three had during their trial indicated they used part of the money to bribe some unnamed members of the House of Representatives and officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance who helped facilitate the subvention.

Counsel to Mr. Ogunmodede, Tunde Olupona from the law firm of Rotimi Akeredolu, said, though, the trial was fair to all parties, the legal team would review the judgement to see the way forward.
Mr. Ogunmodede is a Reverend in the Anglican Church.

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