BY GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN — FORMER Assistant Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Benin, Mr. Isu-Ochiora Okogeri, has been arraigned before a Benin High Court for allegedly accepting a bribe to facilitate the transfer of a female student to the Faculty of Law of the university.
The university teacher is being charged on a one-count charge for enriching himself as a public officer by receiving N100,000.00 from one Omoluwabi Elogho with a promise to effect her course transfer to the faculty of law, an offence punishable under Section 98(b)(11) of the criminal code.
First Prosecution Witness (PW1), Edoseghe Oghogho Idahosa who is the head of the intelligence unit in the security department of the university, led by the state counsel, Kenneth Ugiagbe while giving evidence in the case No MCK/94C/2013, said the accused person committed the offence on December 31, 2012.
He told the court that the accused person, who was also a member of Intra-Faculty Transfer Board requested and received the alleged sum of money from the prospective student, who wanted to be transferred from the Faculty of Arts to the Faculty of Law.
The witness added that following intelligent reports, his team advised the female student to play along, just as he said that the student informed his team that the lecturer had asked her to bring the cash to him in his faculty office instead of paying the said money into a bank account.
He further told the court that his surveillance team closely monitored them to the faculty, where the accused person asked the female student to board his SUV and dropped her off near the main gate of the school, where he (witness) ordered the security officers at the gate to stop all the out-going vehicles, as the lecturer was being monitored.
According to him, “I confronted the accused person over the said money allegedly given him by the female student and pleaded with him that search be carried out on his vehicle. He became shocked and dumfounded. I also cleared the way to enable him park his car at the security office which he rebuffed and sped off.
”The witness further stated that they pursued him with a motor bike to where he went to drop the said money in the exhaust pipe of an abandoned truck in the fuelling station inside the school and drove off from the scene, unknown to him that he was closely monitored.
The security officer also told the court that having engaged the accused person in a hot chase, he was later apprehended near the fire service station inside the campus and taken to the security post for interrogation, where he obliged statement.
The security officer further said N17,000 was recovered from him and the said N 100,000 was recovered from where he had earlier hidden it.
The case was adjourned to August 21.