*granted bail, case adjourned to April 16
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others were on Monday re arraigned before an Oyo state High Court sitting in Ibadan over ab alleged N11 . 5 billion fraud.
The other two persons arraigned with Otunba Akala are former Senate Deputy Chief Whip who was also a former Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters , Senator Hosea Agboola; and an Ibadan-based businessman, Engineer Femi Babalola .
According to the EFCC counsel , Dr . B. Ubi Otunba Alao- Akala and the two others are facing 11 counts bordering on conspiracy, awarding a contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretence , acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property, among others .
The EFCC counsel at the re arraignment of the formet governor said Otunba Alao- Akala while in office as the governor of Oyo State , allegedly awarded a road contract worth N 8 .5 billion between 2007 and 2009 to Pentagon Engineering Services.
Barrister Uba told the court that the said Pentagon Engineering was allegedly owned by Babalola , handled the contract on behalf of the 33 local governments without budgetary provision and that the former governor ordered the supply of drilling machines on behalf of the 33 local governments in the state to the tune of N3 . 5 billion.
The EFCC counsel alleged further that Otunba Alao -Akala conspired with the former Commissioner for Local government in the state. Senator Hosea Ayoola to withdraw N2 .9 billion from the Oyo State Local Government Joint Account.
He alleged further that Otunba Akala Alao- Akala illegally acquired some property on Old Bodija road, off Rotimi Williams road , when he was the governor of the state, thereby committing
offences contravening Section 22 (4 ) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act and Section 1 ( 18 ) of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act.
Otunba Akala and the two other defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
Counsel to Otunba Alao- Akala and Engineer Babalola, Barrister Hakeem Afolabi, (SAN) however urged the court to exercise its discretion in granting bail to the defendants, adding that the charge before the court was not a fresh one but a re- arraignment as the matter was first filed on October 11 , 2011 before Justice Moshood Abas and bail was granted after the defendants met the conditions.
Barrister Afolabi told the court that
Otunba Alao -Akala was granted bail in the sum of N5 m with two sureties in like sum ; while the other defendants were granted bail in the sum of N3 m each with two sureties in like sum, praying the court to allow the defendants to enjoy their earlier bail conditions .
Also, Counsel to Senator Agboola, Chief Richard Ogunwole (SAN) aligned with the submission of Otunba Alao- Akala’s counsel while the EFCC counsel Dr Ubi told the court that he would not oppose the bail applications.
Justice Muniru Owolabi in his ruling granted Otunba Akala and the other two defendants’bail and as well adjourned the case till April 16 for trial.