An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday refused to grant bail to Kudirat Adeleke, a former Oyo State head of service and eleven others dragged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over a N5.6billion pension scam.
The accused were arraigned on November 7, 2013 on charges of conspiracy, stealing and criminal breach of trust.
Justice Bolaji Yusuf, in presiding over their bail application which was opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Gbolahan Latona, ruled that the offence for which they were arraigned was very weighty even though it was bailable.
Latona prayed the court to turn down the requests for bail in view of the severity and enormity of charges preferred against the accused and the huge public interests generated by the case, as well as the pains and pangs of pensioners who would rather want the trial accelerated and concluded on time.
In granting the prayer of the prosecuting counsel, the judge instead ordered that their trial be accelerated.
“This is a serious offence which attracts 7 to 20 years imprisonment without option of fine,” she said.
While reacting to Adeleke’s claims that her health was failing and that she needed the bail to enable her seek medical care Justice Yusuf said that the applicant did not file anything to show that she had been denied treatment.
“The trial has started and will be accelerated,” she added with finality.
On claims made by some defence counsels that all the defendants had earlier been granted bail by a magistrate court, the judge said “that Mrs Adeleke and other accused persons had been granted bail by an Ibadan Magistrate court does not mean that they will be granted bail here. The situation before the court is different and there is proof of evidence before the court.”
Among the other eleven defendants in the case who are mostly senior officers of the Oyo State Pension Board are Muili Hakeem Aderemi, (executive secretary); Adedutan Johnson; Oguntayo Banji, (former internal auditor); and Kareem Rasheed.
Others are: Muili Adedamola; Adesina Jimoh Ayoade, (former cashier); Adebiyi Olasumbo Musendia, (former Admin.Officer); Johnson Bosede; Iyabo Giwa,(former cashier), Adewale Kehinde and Olujinmi Adebayo.
Justice Yusuf adjourned the case to December 11 and ordered that the defendants be returned to Agodi prison, Ibadan.