Justice J. O. Onwuegbuzie of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Apo, Abuja, has slated the commencement of the trial of a former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Olu Agunloye for February 12, 2024.
Agunloye is standing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on seven-count charges bordering on fraudulent award of contract and official corruption to the tune of $6billion (Six Billion US Dollars) contrary to and punishable under Section 22(4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
At Thursday, January 11, 20223’s session which was to determine his bail application, filed by his counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, prosecution counsel, Abba Muhammed made a strong objection, citing two different counter affidavits to the bail application.
“We are objecting to the general application by the defendant in an affidavit made on January 8, 2024, consisting of 76 paragraphs. The deposition was made by Umar Hussain Babangida. We also filed a further counter-affidavit, dated January 10, 2024, consisting of 25 paragraphs, deposed by Umar Hussain Babangida, annexed with the same exhibits. We rely on all the exhibits and depositions on the counter-affidavit on the defendant’s application for bail and we also adopt the written address,” he said.
However, the defence counsel prayed the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms, disclosing that the defendant has an underlying health condition.
Justice Onwuegbuzie in his ruling, granted Agunloye bail in the sum of N50million (Fifty Million Naira only), with two sureties in like sum. The sureties, he said, must be people who are reputable and live in the Federal Capital Territory. The sureties must also submit copies of their identity cards and international passports to the court registrar and must depose an affidavit of means and write an undertaking to produce the defendant in court throughout the duration of the case.
The judge further ruled that the sureties must show evidence of ownership of property (C of O) amounting to N300 million (Three Hundred Million Naira) within Maitama, Abuja. Furthermore, the defendant was ordered to surrender his travel documents to the court registrar and should not travel out of the country without leave of the court. His residential address should also be verified by the court.