Court grants APC chieftain, four others N5m over alleged N1.5bn fraud

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Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele of a Benin High Court on Friday granted the Edo Woman Leader of All Progressives Congress, Mrs Aisosa Amadasun, and four others N1 million bail each.

The other defendants are Adama Osabuohien, Prince Stephen Alao, Dove Momodu and Mallam Ali Sulayman.

Ovbiagele also ordered the defendants to produce a surety each in like sum.

The judge ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, reside within Benin metropolis and must be deposed to an affidavit of means as part of the bail condition.

Ovbiagele adjourned the case until Oct 26 and Oct. 27 for hearing

The defendants, all former board members of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, are facing alleged N1.5bn fraud charges.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Oct. 5 arraigned the defendants before Justice Ovbiagele for allegedly using their offices, while serving as board members of SUBEB, to award contracts to their cronies after collecting money from them.

They all pleaded not guilty to the 50 counts, while the judge ordered their remand in Oko Prisons and adjourned the case until Oct. 9 for hearing of the bail application.

On Oct. 9, the defendants were not brought to court but their counsel, Mr Candy Ohio, urged the court to grant them bail and argued that they were charged on matters bordering on criminal offences.

Ohio pleaded with the court to use its discretion to grant the defendants bail.

He submitted that the charge was a bailable offence, and argued that granting the defendants bail would not in any way jeopardise the trial of the defendants.

But EFCC’s counsel, Mr Harrison Ibekwute, however, opposed the bail application and said the offences contravened Sections 98b (1) (a) (II) of the Criminal Code, CAP. 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria, as applicable to Edo.

(NAN)

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