The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday arraigned the embattled Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Adebiyi Daramola, and the Bursar, Emmanuel Oresegun before an Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure.
Both Mr. Daramola and Mr. Oresegun were escorted to court by EFCC officials at around 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday morning.
A SaharaReporters correspondent reported that the duo were arraigned before Justice Bola Ademola of the Ondo State High Court on a 9-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence, conspiracy to steal, fraudulent conversion of university property, and abuse of office.
One of the charges read, “That you, Professor Adebiyi G. Daramola, on or about the 2nd of September, 2016 in Akure within the Akure judicial division of this honourable court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Twenty Four Million Two Hundred and Twenty Three Thousand four Hundred and Eighty four naira (24,223,484.00) from the Federal University of Technology Akure when you falsely represented that the said sum of money was for your biennial family vacation overseas for the years 2015 and 2016, which representation you knew to be false.”
Some of these offences contravened Section 104 of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
The duo pleaded not guilty to all charges read to them.
Our correspondent reported that hundreds of aggrieved university staff members led by their union leaders under the Joint Action Committee (JAC), who had petitioned the EFCC over the fraud in the institution, stormed the court to witness the proceedings.
Several students sponsored by the institution’s management team also gathered at the court premises in a solidarity protest to support the accused Vice Chancellor and Bursar.
Security agents at the court, however, prevented the students from entering the courthouse.
During the proceedings, Benedict Ubi, the prosecution counsel, told the State High Court to remand the two university principals in prison custody pending the commencement of their trial.
Adebayo Adenipekun, the defense counsel to the two accused university officials, requested that the court admit the duo to bail.
Mr. Adenipekun told the court how Mr. Daramola and Mr. Oresegun were initially placed on an “administrative bail” based on self-recognition by the officials of the anti-graft agency in Ibadan, Oyo State, and therefore should be granted bail.
Justice Ademola subsequently granted both defendants bail in the sum of ten million naira, each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge said the sureties must be public servants who reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
He ordered that the duo be remanded in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in the state pending the meeting of their bail conditions.
Justice Ademola later adjourned the case till February 20 and March 2, 2017 for the proper commencement of the trial.