Violent protest forces judge to reverse self on OAU ex-acting VC prison remand order
For several hours on Tuesday, workers and students of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun state, held Justice David Oladimeji of Ede High Court, and officials of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) hostage, for remanding in prison custody, the ex-acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Anthony Elujoba and the Bursar, Aderonke Akeredolu.
After several hours of being held inside his chamber, Justice Oladimeji, later called in both defence and prosecution counsels, and reversed the remand order and sent Prof Elujoba and Aderonke Akeredolu to EFCC custody from where they were brought to court.
Last week Friday, Prof Elujoba and Akeredolu, were arraigned before the court by the EFCC on charges bothering on financial impropriety and the court had adjourned the case to Tuesday for ruling on the bail application for the suspects.
At the resumed sitting on the matter on Tuesday, the already charged atmosphere in the court premises became rancorous, when Justice Oladimeji ordered both Elujoba and Akeredolu remanded in prison custody till Wednesday, July 19.
Employees of the institution, who had stormed the premises of the court in large number immediately barricaded the exit of the court room, while the main entrance to the premises was laced with charms, thereby preventing those inside the court, including the judge and counsel and others in premises from going out.
The intervention of security agents and two royal fathers, Timi of Ede, Oba Muniru Lawal and Lowa Adimula of Ile Ife, Oba Adekola Adeyeye did little in assuaging the protesters.
The protesters insisted that Prof. Elujoba be freed, noting that former OAU VC, Prof. Bamitale Omole, was behind his travails.
Addressing the court, defence counsel, Ibrahim Lawal, argued that keeping Prof. Elujoba was an infringement on his freedom of movement.
After hearing from the two counsels, Justice David Oladimeji, explained that it would be difficult for him to deliver the judgement on the matter this week.
He also stated that court annual vacation would commence by end of the week, but the the defence cousel pleaded that a date should be fixed.
After the ruling, wife of Prof. Elujoba, could not contain her emotion as she broke down in tears, saying her husband never stole any fund.
After reversing his earlier decision to send the defendants to prison, Justice Oladimeji also changed the adjourned date from Wednesday, 19th July to Friday, July 14th, 2017.
Bola Bamigbola, Osogbo
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