The executive director of the institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Professor Benjamin Ogunbodede was last week arraigned for fraud.
Prof. Ogunbode was arraigned alongside two other accused persons in the case, the accountant of the institute, Zacheous Kola Tejumola and a contractor, Omitowoju Janlekun who were earlier interrogated by ICPC.
It would be recalled that four unions of the institution namely: Non-Academic Staff Union, (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institute and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and National Association of Academic Tecthnologists (NAAT) had embarked on a strike action for 11 months in protest of the management shoddy treatment of their welfare.
Also at a time, staff of the Institute trooped out en-masse in a peaceful demonstration against their Executive Director, Professor Benjamin Adefemi Ogunbodede over allegation of embezzlement totaling N192. 5million.
Charged in suit number 8/ICPC/2013, not all the accused persons could be brought before the judge immediately after the prosecution prepared his charge.
After the second appearances of two of the accused persons, with the absence of the Director, Justice O.I.Aiki, the trial judge, was persuaded by the prosecution to issue a bench warrant against the professor who claimed that he was indisposed.
Consequently last Friday, the director was brought before the court and the18 count criminal charges read to the three accused persons, with all of them claiming to be innocent of conspiracy and fraud of N204Million.
Counsel to the accused persons, Chief Rotimi Akeredolui (SAN) who has filed a bail application for his clients had his prayer for the bail of his client upheld with some conditions.
Ogunmodede was granted bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties who must be senior civil servants in the state. The accountant was allowed home on a bail in the sum of N1.5 million and also two sureties in the same manner.
The contractor, Janlekun was granted bail in the sum of N1 million and a surety in like manner.
Justice Aiki adjourned the case to January 13 next year for definite hearing.