Court Dismisses EFCC Suit against FUNAAB VC, Others

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Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta

An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Thursday dismissed a fraud suit filed against three former principal officers of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) — Pro-Chancellor, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe; past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olusola Oyewole; and Bursar, Mr Moses Ilesanmi — by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In the ruling delivered by Justice Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, the court also discharged and acquitted the trio in the fraud allegations brought against them by the anti-graft agency.

In the judgment, the judge ruled that the EFCC failed woefully to establish a prima-facie case against the accused persons.

The EFCC had, in November 2016, arraigned Ogunlewe, Oyewole and Ilesanmi both separately and jointly on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged stealing, abuse of office and fraudulent conversion of the university property to their own.

Ogunlewe, who was a former Pro-Chancellor of FUNAAB, and the two other principal officers were arrested by the EFCC following a petition written by some concerned members of the university against the three officers.

The accused persons had all pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court subsequently granted them bail.

Shortly after his arraignment, Ogunlewe announced his resignation as the institution’s pro-chancellor, citing personal reasons, while Oyewole bowed out on May 23, 2017 after the completion of his five-year tenure as vice-chancellor.

While delivering judgment, Justice Majekodunmi held that the EFCC failed to prove all the allegations against the accused persons.
The judge declared that all the evidence presented by the prosecution had been manifestly discredited through cross examinations and as such the court could not rely on them.
He dismissed the suit for lacking in merit and thereafter, discharged and acquitted the accused, all of whom were present in court.