The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has dragged the Provost of the Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government area of Ebonyi state, Dr. Paul Ajah Onu before a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, over alleged financial misappropriation.
Also arraigned was the suspended bursar of the institution, Samuel Atoi.
They were arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy to commit illegal act to wit: money laundering and disguising the origin of stolen funds amounting to over N4 million. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were accused of illegally transferring N1.5 million, N1.89 million and N1.816 million from three different FirstBank accounts belonging to the college to the accounts of Juliana Ogbaka and Kalejaiye Bunmi at various times.
After the charges were read to them, the Provost applied for bail through his counsel, J. O. Asoluka but was opposed by the Prosecution counsel, J. A. Ojogbane who argued that he needed time to respond to the defence’s bail application which he said was just served the same day.
On his part, the second accused person, Mr Samuel Atoi regretted the inability of his lawyer to be present in court, blaming it on the late receipt of the summons for the matter and prayed the court to grant him bail.
The trial Judge, Hon Justina Maureen Adaobi Onyetenu however rejected the plea by the counsel to the first accused person to compel the EFCC counsel to react to the bail application today (yesterday) arguing that the federal high court rules allowed the prosecuting counsel two days to respond to such application.
She ordered the prosecuting counsel to respond to the bail application on the next adjourned date which is tomorrow, 8th of May 2012 even as she remanded the accused persons in prison custody. [Vanguard]