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29 Nov 2016
After three nights in prison, ‘corrupt’ Nigeria University Vice Chancellor released on bail
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Olusola Oyewole, and Pro-Chancellor, Adeseye Ogunlewe, have finally been released on bail.
Both men were charged last Friday at an Abeokuta court for allegedly mismanaging the university’s N800 million.
Although they were granted bail on Friday, the bail conditions were not met early enough on that day. They consequently spent the weekend in prison before they were released on Monday.
The lead counsel for the accused, Benjamin Ogunmodede, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, expressed joy that his clients were released at about 5 p.m. on Monday.
“I can authoritatively confirm to you that the duo of Oyewole and Ogunlewe have just met the bail condition and have just been released now.
“I am just driving out from the court premises alongside with the them. They have been released from the prison to join their families,” Mr. Ogunmodede said.
A third person arraigned with the university vice chancellor and the pro-chancellor was also granted bail on Monday.
Moses Ilesanmi, the university’s bursar, was not granted bail on Friday as his lawyer did not conclude the bail application.
He was asked to remain in the custody of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, till Monday.
On his return to court, Mr. Ilesanmi’s counsel, Adedamola Lapite, asked the court to grant his client bail in liberal terms pending the commencement of trial.
The defence lawyer added that the charges against Mr. Ilesanmi were bailable.
The prosecuting counsel, Kayode Oni, however, opposed the bail application stating that the arguments brought forward by Mr. Lapite were not valid. The judge, O. Majekodunmi, having heard from both counsel, granted Mr. Ilesanmi bail in the sum of N50 million and two sureties in like sum. Mr. Majekodunmi emphasised that the two sureties must be owners of landed property within the jurisdiction of the court. He added that the sureties must deposit their title documents with the court.
The judge also ordered that the sureties be level 15 officers in the Ogun State Civil Service and must deposit their international passports with the court.
The trial of the three university officials was adjourned to December 16, 19, and 20.
In a related development, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC , has asked the federal government to order the reinstatement of the three whistleblowers and 20 others sacked by the university.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the university sacked three staff who reported the alleged corrupt practices to the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, called for the immediate reinstatement of 23 members of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU.
The NLC president made this known in a letter to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and a copy was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
In the letter, Mr. Wabba said: “Between Nov. 8 and Nov.11, 23 members of SSANU have been relieved of their appointments maliciously and vindictively.
“They were victimised for reporting cases of corruption to the EFCC.
“SSANU, one of our affiliate, has informed us that its members at the FUNAAB have been victimised.
“Do permit us to observe that the actions of the Council and Management of FUNAAB do not only constitute impunity and lawlessness but a violation of the fundamental human rights of these workers.
“This is as enshrined in Section 39 of the 2009 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
According to Mr. Wabba, in order for the war on corruption to succeed, whistle blowers should be protected by all means and not victimised as is presently the case at FUNAAB.
“We request you to cause an investigation into what is going on at FUNAAB as well as ensure that the affected workers are recalled unconditionally.
“We await your intervention, please accept the assurances of our highest esteem.”