By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA- An Ogun State High Court sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta has discharged and acquitted the immediate past Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Professor Olusola Oyewole in the suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
FUNAAB: Inset, Oyewole
The court, presided over by Justice Olatokunbo Majekodunmi, also discharged and acquitted former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe and the Bursar of the institution, Mr Moses Ilesanmi after she dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.
The trio were tried for fraud allegations brought by the anti-graft agency over the FUNAAB fund .
While delivering the judgement, Justice Majekodunmi held that the EFCC failed to prove all the allegations against the accused persons.
The judge declared that all the evidences presented by the prosecution had been manifestly discredited through cross examination such that the court could not rely on them.
The judge, thereafter, discharged and acquitted the accused, all of whom were present in court.
The presiding judge in her judgement declared that the EFCC failed woefully in establishing a prima facie case against the accused persons.
She said the complainants relied on third party evidence that lacks in merit .
It would be recalled that the EFCC had, in November 2016, arraigned Ogunlewe, Oyewole and Ilesanmi separately and jointly on an 18-count charge bordering on alleged stealing, abuse of office and fraudulent conversion of the university property.
Ogunlewe, who was former Pro-Chancellor of FUNAAB, and the two other principal officers were arrested by EFCC operatives following a petition by some concerned members of the university.
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 completing his five-year tenure as vice chancellor.