Court jails ex-DG of agriculture institute for 40 years over N177m fraud

A former Director-General of the Institute of Agriculture Research and Training (IART) Ibadan, Benjamin Ogunbodede has been sentenced to 40 years in prison over an alleged N177 million fraud.

Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, a judge of the federal high court in Ibadan, Oyo state, gave the ruling on Tuesday.

The ex-DG was arraigned on a 17-count charge alongside the trio of Zacheaus Tejumola, Adenose Clement and Jalekun Omotowoju.

They were accused of the misappropriation and diversion of funds to the tune of N177 million.

In a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the academic staff union of the institute had accused Ogunbodede of using the sum of N115million to pay hazard allowance to the members of staff of the institute in December 2013.

The commission said he claimed to have used the sum of N15million to harvest crops “but it was discovered that he actually spent N800, 000 to harvest the crops”.

The prosecution later presented 15 witnesses and tendered relevant documents.

The judge, said the prosecution had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt.

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