The police on Wednesday arraigned Lere Olayinka, 47, the spokesman to former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court for alleged N13.5 million fraud.
The defendant, of no fixed address, according to the prosecutor, Johnson Okunade, an inspector of police, committed the offence between 2014 and 2018 at the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, (BSES) Ilokun in Ado-Ekiti.
He alleged that the defendant, as a public officer abused his office when he failed to remit revenue accrued to the Broadcasting station to the tune of N13.5 million to the cover of Ekiti State Government.
He also alleged that the defendant, being the Director-General of the broadcasting station, abused his office when he authorised travelling allowance of N7m in his name for journeys not embarked upon.
Mr Okunade added that the defendant also allegedly stole and converted N13.5m belonging to the Broadcasting Station to his own personal use.
The prosecutor noted that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 104, 390(5) and 419 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
He asked the court for an adjournment to enable him to study the case file and present his witnesses.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel to the defendant, Former Attorney-General of Ekiti, Kolapo Kolade, prayed the court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms.
The Chief Magistrate, Adesoji Adegboye, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum having verifiable addresses in the sum of N500,000.
Mr Adegboye ruled that one of the sureties must be a community leader, while the second must produce proof of land ownership.
He adjourned the case until April 27 for hearing.
Meanwhile, Mr Olayinka has described his detention by the police and arraignment for alleged fraud as the usual political persecution that can never get someone like him intimidated and silenced.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday, he said it was funny that the same way he was persecuted, arrested, detained and tried for sedition in 2012, during the first tenure of Governor Kayode Fayemi was the way he was being persecuted now.
Mr Olayinka advised the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in Ekiti State to focus on how to address its glaring non-performance instead of running after perceived opposition figures.
He said; “I was invited by the police and I willingly honoured the invitation because I have nothing to hide.
“It is however funny that after the police had agreed to grant me administrative bail yesterday and I was ready to meet the bail conditions, the State Government put pressure on the police, seeking the invocation of ‘Form K’ to allow for my detention for two months.
“Whatever they planned to achieve with this, I can say it boldly that they have failed and I will never be harassed to submission.
“I am used to their tactics and like it happened eight years ago, tyranny will be defeated again.
“I thank Nigerians who showed concern and I assure that I won’t succumb to tyranny.
“As for those who rejoiced over my detention with the belief that the perfected plan to have me remanded in prison custody indefinitely will succeed, especially those in the camp of Senator Biodun Olujimi in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, now that your joy has been short-lived, what else?”