A series of protest by workers and students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, on Tuesday forced Justice David Oladimeji of an Osun State High Court sitting in Ede to reverse a ruling he gave that an ex-Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Anthony Elujoba, be remanded in the Ilesa Prison.
Following the refusal of angry workers and students of the university to leave the court premises despite the heavy presence of policemen, the judge reversed the earlier order and ruled that Elujoba should be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Counsel for the accused, Ibrahim Lawal, who came to announce the reversal to the protesters, said the judge had also shifted the adjourned date from July 19 to 14 for ruling on bail application.
Elujoba and bursar of the university, Aderonke Akeredolu, who are being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged corruption, were arraigned on Friday and the judge ruled that the two accused persons should be remanded in the EFCC custody.
He adjourned till Tuesday for ruling on their bail application.
At the Tuesday sitting, the judge ordered that Elujoba should be remanded in prison.
The order created pandemonium on the court premises.
The workers and students blocked the road leading to the court with buses, while some of them surrounded the court premises and vowed not to allow Elujoba to be taken to the Ilesa Prison.
They also threatened to occupy the Ilesa Prison if Elujoba was eventually taken there.
The ex-acting vice chancellor is being prosecuted by the EFCC for alleged corruption.
Elujoba was said to have brought peace to the OAU by paying workers allowances totalling over N1bn.
Elujoba acted for less than a year after the turbulent tenure of the immediate past substantive Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole, ended.
As the judge rose after the second ruling, many workers burst into tears, while some attacked a relation of Omole.
The relation, an old man, identified as Pastor Odun Orioke, was attacked by the angry workers who deflated the tyres of his vehicle. The pastor was rescued by some armed policemen.
All the workers and the students present demanded the unconditional release of Elujoba, but nothing was said concerning the bursar.
They said some enemies of progress of the university were using their influence to persecute Elujoba, while those who allegedly stole the university funds with impunity were left untouched.
The protesters, who chanted anti-EFCC songs, accused the agency of shielding Omole, who they said nine petitions bordering on corruption were written against.
One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “While the EFCC refused to investigate the petitions written against Omole by labour unions in OAU, the anti-corruption agency was quick to arrest and arraign Elujoba who did not steal one kobo of the university.”
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