The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arraigned three Osun State civil servants in court for alleged N83.5 million fraud.
The trio, Adegoke Johnson Adebayo, Ayodele Elijah Olubunmi Sunday and Adelowo Waheed Adewole, were arraigned before Justice Ladiran Akintola of the Oyo State High Court, Ibadan by the Ibadan zonal office of the commission.
The suspects, who are staff of Osun State Environmental Protection Commission, and president, secretary and treasurer of the commission’s staff cooperative society, respectively, allegedly diverted the sum, obtained as loan for the cooperative members.
The EFCC preferred a 10-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office, stealing, forgery, altering, and obtaining money under false pretence against them.
One of the charge read: That you, Adegoke Johnson Adebayo (President), Ayodele Elijah Olubunmi Sunday(Secretary) and Adelowo Waheed Adewole (Treasurer) and Gbenga Joseph Zacheus (at large) sometime in the year 2014, at Yemetu, Ibadan, within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court, obtained the sum of N83,500,000.00 (Eighty Three Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira) only from First Bank of Nigeria Limited by falsely pretending that it is a loan, strictly for members and staff of the Osun State Environmental Protection Commission (Osogbo) Staff Co-operative Investment and Credit Society Limited which representations you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence.”
They pleaded not guilty to the charges, upon which prosecution counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi, applied for a trial date and an order for the defendants to be remanded in a correctional facility, while defence counsel, A. T. Adeleye, informed the court of a joint bail application of her clients which she said, has been served on the prosecution.
The judge adjourned the case till October 14, 2020 for the hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
Trouble started for the defendants following a First Bank of Nigeria PLC petition to the EFCC, alleging that the threesome, sometime in 2014 approached the bank for a loan facility to the tune of N83,500, 000 (Eighty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand) on behalf of members of the society, but discovered a foul play as the loan beneficiaries began making the repayment in amounts that fell far below the agreed monthly installment.
In the course of investigations, the EFCC discovered that the defendants cooked up the list of the loan beneficiaries and other documents they presented to the bank for the processing of the loan.
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