Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Mr. Lere Olayinka, a 47-year-old media aide to former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, was Wednesday arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged stealing and fraud.
The defendant was standing trial on a three-count charge of abuse of office, stealing and fraud.
The prosecutor, Inspector Johnson Okunade, told the court that the defendant committed the offence between 2014 and 2018, while serving as the Director General of Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State at Ilokun in Ado-Ekit under Fayose.
He alleged that the defendant as a public officer allegedly abused his office when he failed to remit a commercial revenue accrued to the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State totalling N13.5 million to the coffers of the government.
He also alleged that the defendant also abused his office when he authorised travelling allowance totalling N7 million in his name for journeys not embarked on.
Okunade added that the defendant also converted a sum of N13.5 million belonging to the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State to his own personal use.
He also alleged that the defendant obtained a sum of N7 million under false pretext as travelling allowance from the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State.
The prosecutor noted that the offences contravened section 104, 390(5) and 419 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.
He asked the court for adjournment to enable him study the case file and present his witnesses.
However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
His counsel and former Attorney General of Ekiti State, Mr. Kolapo Kolade, urged the court to grant his client bail, with a promise that he would not jump bail.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Adesoji Adegboye, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N1 million with two sureties in like sum having a verifiable addresses.
Adegboye ruled that one of the sureties must be a community leader, while the second must produce a proof of landed ownership.
The magistrate subsequently adjourned the case until April 27, for hearing.