Court Adjourns Suit Against Ex-VC Till Nov 27

Filed in News by on November 24, 2017

An Akure Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Akure, Ondo State capital, has adjourned till November 27, a suit filed by founder of Elizade University at Ilara-Mokin in Ondo State Chief Michael Ade-Ojo against the ex-Vice Chancellor, Prof Adekunle Oloyede.

The businessman sued the former vice chancellor for alleged $1.8 million fraud to build a male hostel.

On January 29, Oloyede was re-arraigned on a fresh seven-count charge, after spending 13 days in detention.

He pleaded not guilty to the new charge preferred against him by the Ondo State attorney general and commissioner for Justice.

The charges, according to Mrs Kolade Oba, who represented the attorney general, read: “That you, Prof Adekunle Oloyede, on or about January 20, 2015 at 10.30 am in Elizade University, did conspire with three others at large to commit a felony to wit, stealing, and thereby committed an offence, contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”

Oloyede said he was not in Nigeria as Elizade University VC’s in January 2015, adding that he was appointed in September 2015.

Counsel to the accused, Olusola Oke, who asked for bail on liberal terms, said the charges were “distorted and not likely to be true”.

Also, the professor of Medical Engineering said the contract was signed in February 2015 and over 90 per cent of money that changed hands had been paid before he resumed as vice chancellor in September of the same year.

He said: “I introduced them based on my conversation with Chief Ade Ojo on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the university. He told me that he wanted to build a world-class university. I told him that no single person can fund a world-class university and that even the governments of richer countries struggle to do this.

“Therefore, I said we would need to generate and raise money towards the ambition. Following this conversation, I proposed the idea of building a factory containing building materials. However, he suggested that a students’ hostel be built first.

“I received absolutely no financial benefit from this agreement. There is nothing that I have now that I did not possess before meeting Chief Ade-Ojo.

“When he came to Australia on my invitation to see what world-class universities look like, I organised a meeting between him and an Australian company. I did not attend the meeting because I was not a party to the agreement.”

The embattled vice chancellor said Chief Ade Ojo reneged on his agreement with the Australian firm.

He added: “Duro Global Company initially proposed a turnkey project to develop the students’ hostel at an estimated cost of $4,567,000 million.

“This proposal was rejected by Chief Ade Ojo. It was agreed that the project be split into local and foreign components to cut costs, where Duro Global would supply materials and related costs as well as supervisory personnel for the construction of the 4,000 square metre hostel for $1,800,000.

“Under this arrangement, Duro Global was to supply the steel work and the PIR panels. The other items, such as doors, windows, fittings, tiles and labour, would be sourced in Nigeria by Chief Ade Ojo.”

At the resumed hearing on February 7 and 8, the first witness, Mrs Owoope Ayotunde, of Access Bank Plc, testified to transferring $150,000 on the order of Chief Ade Ojo to Duro Global PTY.

When Oke asked the banker whether the accused had any link with the company, she said no.

Also, the second witness, Adebisi Adesina, of Wema Bank Plc, agreed that there was no link between the former VC and Duro Global PTY.

The banker said he transferred $970,000 directly to Duro Global but later transferred $650,000 to Prof. Oloyede in July 2015 on the order of Chief Ade Ojo.

The third witness, Bamidele Ogodo, who is the Executive Assistant to Chief Ojo, told the court that $1,770,000 had been paid for the project from which $650,000 was sent directly to Prof. Oloyede, who was then in Australia in July 2015, after a power-of-attorney was granted to him by the Elizade University’s founder.

Ogodo, who had accused Duro Global PTY and Prof. Oloyede of failing to import anything with the money received, later confessed that Duro Global PTY Limited supplied seven containers of steel framework and other materials to the site of the project.

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