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Court remands three in prison for allegedly defrauding Afe Babalola of N75m

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Rector faults govt’s undue attention to funding of varsities
• Urges creation of special commission for polytechnics

An Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday remanded three middle-aged men, Omolayo Ojo (40), Akinyemi Taiwo (47) and Ismaila Akadiri (52), in the correctional centre for allegedly defrauding the founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola, of N75 million.

The police prosecution, Inspector Johnson Okunade, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on October 31, 2019, at the ABUAD community in Ado-Ekiti.

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He alleged that the defendants, on the said date, unlawfully defrauded the legal luminary N75 million.

Okunade said that one high chief in the state, Olodofin, Chief Oluyemi Abidakun, with one other suspect involved in the case were still at large.

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He added that he had forwarded the duplicated case file to the office of the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

According to him, the offence contravenes Section (8) and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act and Perjury contrary to Section 118 of the Criminal Code.

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Counsel to the defendants, Mr. Ope Ademoyegun, prayed the court for a short adjournment for all his clients.

Chief Magistrate, Aderopo Adegboye, ordered that all the defendants be remanded in the correctional centre pending the outcome of the advice from the DPP, and adjourned the case till March 13, 2020, for hearing.

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In another development, Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Dr. Hephzibar Oladebeye, has faulted the Federal Government for giving too much priority to the funding of the universities at the expense of Polytechnics education.

Oladebeye also said that there was a need for the creation of a National Polytechnics Commission (PSC) to boost technical education in the country.

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The rector, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday at a press conference marking his two years in office, urged the Federal Government to borrow a leave from China which converted 600 universities to polytechnics, insisting that the decision has lend credence to the imperative of polytechnic education.

The Rector said that poor funding of polytechnics and other technical education that could equip the youths with entrepreneurial skills had been a great impediment to the economic development of the country.

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He advised the government to allow graduates of universities and polytechnics to prove themselves to ascertain their capacities so that the best can be injected into the system on the basis of merit.

Oladebeye said: “If the Federal Government had removed the dichotomy between bachelor degrees and Higher National Diploma, and if the universities can have National Universities Commission (NUC) and the College of Education can have National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), then the polytechnics, which is rated higher than colleges, deserve a commission.”

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