Court Rejects Bail Applications For Alleged Pension Thieves

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Justice Bolaji Yusuf of the Oyo State High Court, Ring Road, Ibadan Tuesday refused the bail applications of the former Head of Service in Oyo State, Mrs. Adeleke Kudirat and  11 others standing trial for alleged stealing of N5.7b pension fund meant to pay retirees in the state. She ruled that they should be in Agodi Prison custody pending the determination of  their case.

The other accused were the former Executive Secretary of the pension board, Muili Hakeem Aderemi, former treasurer, Iyabo Giwa, former cashier, Adesina Jimoh Ayoade, former auditor, Oguntayo Banji and former administration officer, Adebiyi Musendiq Olasumbo. Others were: Muili Adedamola, Adeduntan Johnson, Johnson Bosede, Kareem Rasheed, Olujimi Adebayo and Adewale Kehinde.

Justice Yusuf refused the bail applications based on the punishment for the offence which attracts between 7 to 20 years imprisonment without option of fine, if found guilty. The judge said rather than granting them bail, she would give their case accelerating hearing.

She said that all the reasons adduced to support their bail applications were weak and not cogent, adding that keeping them in the prison custody was in their interest and in the interest of justice.

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According to the judge, “the allegations levelled against them are substantive. It will be unwise to grant bail to those that prima facie case has been established against. Because they have been arraigned before the court, trial has commenced, plea has been taken”.

As regards the grounds of health and access to their counsel, she said they would have access to good health care and access to their counsel in  prison custody.

—Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan