Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan zonal office, on Wednesday arraigned the Director of Fisheries Ministry of Agriculture, Oyo State, Razaq Kolawole, for allegedly defrauding one Ibikunle Alonge of N4.4million in connection with a landed property.
He was arraigned before Justice Aderonke Aderemi of the Oyo State High Court on one-count charge of obtaining the money under false pretence and was said to have committed an offence against Section 1 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
The one- count charge read: “That you, Alhaji Kolawole Rasaq on or about the 2nd of October, 2018, at Ibadan within the Ibadan Judicial Division of this honourable court with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of N4,400,000 from one Alonge Ibikunle through Pastor Adeyemi Fabayo by falsely pretending that it was part payment of the cost price of eleven and half plots of land situated, lying and being at Alabata Olokoso area, via Moniya area, Ibadan which you purported to have sold to him.”
Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Dele Oyewale, stated in a press release made available to journalists in Ibadan on Wednesday that the victim of the alleged crime wrote a petition to the anti-graft agency, in which he accused the top public servant of fraudulently collecting the sum from him as part payment for a piece of land situated at Alabata-Olosoko area of Moniya, Ibadan, Akinyele Local Government.
Alonge further alleged that it was after making the payment that he got to know that the land actually belonged to one Mrs. Ali (now deceased ), adding that all efforts to get a refund thereafter was unsuccessful.
But Kolawole, who was the Acting Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources before the ministry was merged with the Ministry of Agriculture, pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was said to have reverted to his position at the directorate level after the merger.
The prosecuting counsel, Dr. Ben Ubi, prayed the court for a date for the commencement of trial in view of his plea that he was not guilty.
Justice Aderemi, however, admitted the defendant to bail on self-recognition and adjourned the matter to June 24 and 25, 2020 for trial.