Police in the state of Oyo have arrested and charged two officials of the state government of Oyo for allegedly stealing and selling 40 sugar bags that were part of the COVID-19 palliative scheme intended for state residents.
On Tuesday, 5 January, the accused, Adebiyi Azeez, 51, a state government driver, and Sunday Akinleye, 43, assistant protocol officer in charge of palliative medicines at the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Agodi, Ibadan, were arraigned before the Iwo Road Chief Magistrate Court.
Together with a merchant, Kafayat Babalola, who supposedly obtained and purchased the stolen gods, the two men were charged. They face three counts of conspiracy, robbery and stolen goods receipt.
ASP Sunday Ogunremi, the police prosecutor, said both men allegedly conspired to commit the stealing crime.
Adebiyi, the driver, and Akinleye, the assistant protocol officer in charge of palliatives, allegedly stole from the ministry 40 bags of Dangote Sugar COVID-19 palliatives valued at N60, 000. It belongs to the state government of Oyo.
The duo of Adebiyi and Akinleye allegedly used the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters official vehicle to deliver the goods to the purchaser.
Mrs. Kafayat Babalola, a trader at Agbeni Market, Ibadan, the third defendant, obtained 40 bags of COVID-19 palliative sugar knowing that it is not for sale, and it is the property of the Oyo State Government.
He claimed that the offence contravened Sections 516, 390(9) and 427 of the Oyo State 2000 Penal Code. The crime was allegedly committed at the Department of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on 30 December 2020.
Both men pleaded not guilty when the indictments were read to them.
Mr Taiwo Oladiran, the Chief Magistrate, granted bail to the defendants in the amount of N20,000 each, with two guarantees each in the same amount, and adjourned the matter for hearing until February 8.