A former Director-General, Institute of Agriculture Research and Training, Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Benjamin Adefemi Ogunbodede, has been slammed with 40-year jail term following a court judgment on a 17-count charge bordering on conspiracy, misappropriation and diversion of N177 million.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction on Tuesday before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The former IART DG, Ogunbodede was tried alongside three others, Zacheaus Tejumola, Adenose Clement and Jalekun Omotowoju.
The Academic Staff Union (ASU) of IART had in a petition to the EFCC dated December 17, 2012 alleged that Ogunbodede falsely claimed that he used the sum of N115 million to pay hazard allowance to the members of staff of the institute.
It was also alleged that Ogunbodede claimed to have used the sum of N15 million to harvest crops.
But upon investigation, EFCC said it discovered that Ogunbodede actually spent N800,000 to harvest the crops.
The convicts had all pleaded not guilty to the charge when they were arraigned on June 16, 2014, thereby setting the stage for their trial.
In the course of the trial, the prosecution counsel had presented 15 witnesses and tendered relevant documents, which were all admitted in evidence.
Also, in 2016, 10 other accused persons in the matter had pleaded guilty to the charge and subsequently entered into a plea bargain arrangement with the Commission.
Delivering his judgement on Tuesday, Justice Ayo- Emmanuel said the prosecution had proved his case beyond any reasonable doubt. He, therefore, convicted and sentenced the first and second accused persons to 40 years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The third accused was sentenced to four years imprisonment without an option of fine.
The sentences are to run concurrently.