A Professor of Agriculture, Benjamin Ogunmodede of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IART), was yesterday sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment without an option of fine by a Federal High Court in Ibadan.
Two others, Zacchaeus Tejumola and Adenekan Clement, also got the same sentence.
Prof. Ogunmodede, also a reverend in Anglican Church, is the former director-general of IART, Apata, Ibadan. Tejumade and Adenekan were chief accountant and employee of the institution.
They were charged with 16- count on conspiracy, unlawful conversion, stealing of school subvention and others, in 2011.
Justice Ayo Emmanuel sentenced the accused to four years per charge. He said the 40 years sentence would run concurrently.
The convicts were said to have diverted over N177 million from the N600million received as subvention from the Federal Government to pay workers’ salaries and execute projects.
The court was told that they did not follow due process in executing some of the projects.
The judgment indicated that the defendants said they used part of the money to bribe members of the House of Representatives and officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance after they facilitated the release of the fund.
Addressing reporters after the judgment, the leading counsel to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nkereuwem Anana, said the judgment was an indication that the fight against corruption was on.
He hailed the court for the judgment, saying it would act as a deterrent to others.