Pension Scam: Re-arraignment Stalled As Accused Collapses In Court

A Federal High court sitting in Ibadan, capital of Oyo state today postponed the re-arraignment of a former Oyo State Head of Service, Mrs Kudirat Iyabo Adeleke and 11 others implicated in a N5.6 billion pension scam, after one of the defendants collapsed when the court was taking their pleas.

Oguntayo Banjo, who had an asthmatic attack fainted, making the presiding judge, Justice Adegboye Gbolagunte postpone the re-arraignment till May 2.

They were to be re-arraigned on charges bordering on conspiracy, stealing and criminal breach of trust.

The twelve defendants were originally arraigned on November 7, 2013 before Justice Bolaji Yusuf, who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal. Her elevation meant that the trial of the accused persons had to start afresh.

Earlier, counsel to the 5th defendant, I. M Obiachuru, presented an application before the court, objecting to the re-arraignment of his client and prayed the court to quash the charges preferred against him.

However, EFCC counsel, Gbolahan Latona, said the notice of preliminary objection moved by Obiachuru was incompetent and lacked merit.

He reminded the court that such an application could only come after arraignment. Justice Gbolagunte upheld his submissions and dismissed the application.

The other accused persons who are to be re-arraigned alongside Adeleke are Muili Hakeem Aderemi, former executive secretary, Oyo State Pension Board; Adeduntan Johnson; Oguntayo Banjo, former internal auditor, Oyo State Pension Board; and Kareem Rasheed.

Others are: Muili Adedamola; Adesina Jimoh Ayoade, former cashier, Oyo State Pension Board; Adebiyi Olasumbo Musendia, former administration officer, Oyo State Pension Board; Iyabo Giwa, former cashier, Oyo State Pension Board; Adewale Kehinde, Johnson Bosede and Olujinmi Adebayo.