Home News N5.6bn pension scam: Court rules on bail application June 18

N5.6bn pension scam: Court rules on bail application June 18


IBADAN – Justice Adegboye Gbolagunte of  the Oyo State High Court on Monday adjourned to June 18  ruling on the bail application in a fraud case involving a former  Head of Service in the state, Alhaja Kudirat Adeleke.

Adeleke and 11 other persons  were arraigned  for allegedly defrauding the Oyo State Local Government Staff  Pension Board to the tune of  N5.6 billion.

Adeleke’s counsel, Richard Ogunwole (SAN), told the court that his client was  presumed innocent of the charges against her, adding that it was her  constitutional right  to be admitted to bail.

Ogunwole said that the onus lied on the prosecutor to prove otherwise by providing substantial facts to the courts.

He, however, argued that  the prosecutor had  failed to provide the facts that would warrant the court not to admit his client to bail.

The counsel said that his client had been  suffering from an ailment in  the last 20 years and had to travel  out of the country  for  treatment.

Ogunwole also said that his client was struggling to live, adding that her  condition was deteriorating because no hospital in the state had the facilities  to treat her ailment.

He urged the court to admit his client to bail on  liberal terms, pledging  that she would not jump bail.

The counsel to the other defendants also argued  for bail while  aligning  with the submission of Ogunwole.

But the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Gbolahan Latona,  urged the court not to grant bail to the defendants.

Latona said that there was no material evidence  placed  before the court that would warrant granting of   bail to the defendants.

He added that the defendants had  failed to satisfy  the standards required to sway  the court to admit them to bail and urged  the court to dismiss the  application in favour of  accelerated hearing.

Those also  linked with the fraud are Muili Aderemi, Iyabo Giwa, Adesina Ayoade, Oguntayo Banji, Adebiyi Musenbiq and  Muili Adedamola.

Others are  Adeduntan Johnson, Bosede Johnson, Kareem Rasheed, Olujimi Adebayo and Adewale Kehinde.

The defendants were arraigned on a  213-count charge which  included  conspiracy, obtaining money  by false pretence, fraud and forgery.

Latona said the defendants conspired to obtain the  N5.6 billion from three banks– FCMB, Stanbic and Zenith– by false representation using the names of pensioners.

The prosecutor said the offences were committed  between September 2010 and March 2011.

He said  the offences contravened sections 516, 390 (9) and 417 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. (NAN)

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