$6bn contract scandal: Court grants N50m bail to ex-minister, Olu Agunloye

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Embattled former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, has been granted bail in the sum of N50 million.

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Recall that Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Apo ordered Agunloye, who was charged with seven counts related to the fraudulent award of a contract and official corruption, to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre, until the bail application was heard and ruled upon.

However, during the hearing today, the Counsel for the former minister, Adeola Adedipe, requested that the court grant bail to his client either through self-recognisance or under lenient conditions.

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Adedipe argued that Agunloye is not a flight risk and that the prosecution’s concerns were based on misunderstandings and communication issues.

Adedipe further requested that the court refrain from requiring a public servant to act as surety for his client.

The experienced attorney also contended that the misconceptions and concerns surrounding bail, as well as the arguments put forth by the prosecution, have been addressed by Section 352(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

According to Adeola, this provision states that “once a defendant is granted bail, even if they flee, the trial will proceed, and they will be convicted if necessary.”

However, the prosecution counsel objected to the bail application.

In delivering the verdict, Justice Onwuegbuzie stated that the court leans towards granting bail to the defendant.

The defendant was granted bail of N50 million and was instructed to provide two sureties who could match the same sum.

These sureties must be individuals of good reputation and financial means, residing within the FCT. They must possess properties valued at N300 million, with a verifiable Certificate of Occupancy.

Additionally, they are required to submit copies of their identification cards and photocopies of their international passports to the court.

The defendant must surrender his passport to the court and be present for all hearings.

The case has been adjourned until February 12.

 

 

 

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