N22m Fraud: Court Remands Former LG Chair
SAN FRANCISCO, May 28, (THEWILL) – Justice F.E. Owolabi of the Osun State High Court Tuesday, remanded Chief Rufus Woleola Ojo, a former Chairman of Orolu local government Ifon, Osun state, in prison custody.
Woleola is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for stealing and diversion of public funds to the tune of N22 million.
The ordeal of Woleola who was arraigned on a one count charge of criminal embezzlement and diversion of public funds, followed a petition dated 3rd June 2010, by Atilade Quadri and Comrade Bashir on behalf of Orolu Integrity Forum where it was alleged that the accused collected money for the constituency projects including a nine classroom building without executing the project.
EFCC’s investigation showed that on 14th December 2006, the sum of N22, 058,021 meant for the classrooms construction was transferred from the account of Orolu local government to the account of Rulekal Ventures limited at Oceanic Bank, where Woleola is a sole signatory.
The accused who confessed to have completed only one out of the 10 classrooms that were scheduled for construction told operatives of the Commission that he diverted the money to set up a personal poultry, Rulekal Farms Limited.
When the one count charge was read to him, Woleola pleaded not guilty, necessitating the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters, to pray the court to remand the accused person in prison custody pending a formal bail application.
Justice Owolabi, while adjourning the case till July 9, 2013, for trial urged the defence to file a formal bail application.