By: Tunde Oyekola, Osogbo.
A judge of the Osun state High Court sitting in Ede, Osun state, Justice David Oladimeji was on Tuesday held hostage by the Workers and students of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife during the trial of the former acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Anthony Elujoba.
The workers were protesting the continued detention of Professor Elujoba and the Bursar of the institution, Mrs Akeredolu in the EFCC custody.
Elujoba was being tried by the EFCC alongside the university’s bursar, Mrs. Aderonke Akeredolu over alleged misappropriation of N1.4bn which was allegedly paid as ‘unapproved’ hazard allowances to the institution’s workers.
When the case came up for hearing, the aggrieved workers who besieged the court premises insisted that Prof. Elujoba and the bursar should be granted bail by the court.
They blocked all the entries and exit routes leading to the Court premises saying that the bail application should be heard.
The Judge, lawyers and other court workers were held hostage by the protesters for several hours.
During the proceeding, the defence counsel, Ibrahim Lawal, argued that retaining Prof. Elujoba in detention would amount to an infringement on his freedom of movement.
After hearing from the two counsels, Justice Oladimeji, explained that it would be possible to deliver the ruling on the bail application this week.
He also stated that vacation commences by end of the week, but the the defence cousel pleaded that a date should be fixed for ruling Justice Oladimeji adjourned the case for ruling till July 14.and ordered that the two defendants be remanded in the EFCC custody.
After the ruling,the students and workers embarked on a violent protest, which resulted into the damage of a vehicle.
They also attacked a person, believed to be a spy for those that wrote petition against the former acting VC.
Riot Policemen were drafted to the campus to douse tension but when the protesters sighted the security men, they went berserk and chanted anti-oppression songs.
While some were armed with placards, others were seen with sticks and other mild weapons, including charms.
Earlier, the staff and Students the OAU unanimously declared a shut down of the institution over the arraignment of their ex-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Anthony Elujoba.