Court acquits FUNAAB ex-VC, others over fraud
An Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta yesterday freed former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Olusola Oyewole, over alleged fraud.
The court, presided over by Justice Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, also acquitted former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe and the Bursar of the institution, Moses Ilesanmi over similar charges.
She, therefore, dismissed all the charges against them for lack of merit.
In her ruling, Justice Majekodunmi held that the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove the allegations against the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt.
She said all evidence presented by the prosecution had been manifestly discredited through cross-examination, such that the court could not rely on any of them.
In her opinion, the EFCC failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons, saying the complainants relied on third party evidence that lacks merit.
The judge, thereafter, discharged and acquitted the accused on all charges. All of them were present in court.
The EFCC had, in November 2016, arraigned the trio separately and jointly on an 18-count charge, bordering on alleged stealing, abuse of office and fraudulent conversion of the university’s property to personal use.
The anti-graft agency had arrested Ogunlewe, who was then Pro-Chancellor of the university and the two other suspects, following a petition by some staff of the institution.
The accused had 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 left at the end of his five-year tenure in 2017.