$5.6m fraud: Court remands businessman Akintoye Akindele in Kuje prison

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A federal high court in Abuja has ordered the remand of Akintoye Akindele, managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of Duport Midstream Company Limited, at the Kuje correctional centre in the nation’s capital.

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James Omotosho, the presiding judge, ruled that Akindele will remain in custody till March 20, when the court will consider documents confirming the perfection of the bail granted him earlier.

The inspector-general of police (IGP) had instituted a four-count charge against Akindele for allegedly diverting $5,636,397.01, and N73,543,763.25, belonging to Summit Oil International Ltd, owned by the family of late Bashorun Moshood Abiola.

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Akindele and his company, the second defendant in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/570/2023, were said to have committed the act between 2017 and 2021 when they allegedly converted the said sum received from Shell Petroleum Company into personal use.

On March 1, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his lawyer, James Onoja, moved his bail application.

Akindele was granted bail in the sum of N750 million with two sureties in like sum.

The sureties must own landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.

In addition, the sureties, who must swear to an affidavit of means, are to also deposit their statements of account with the registrar of the court.

The judge ordered that the defendant must meet all the bail conditions on or before March 8.

However, when the case came up on Friday, the judge asked about the position of the bail granted to the defendant.

“We submitted last week before the date given to us,” Akindele’s lawyers said.

“I have not seen it,” the judge responded.

But Onoja insisted that the documents were submitted to the court.

He urged one of the registrars to confirm that the documents were in the custody of the court already.

Although the judge initially refused a request to look into the documents, he changed his mind after persuasion from the defence lawyer, who claimed that the defendant has some health challenges that may get worse if remanded.

However, after perusing the case file, the judge observed that the bail was not perfected before March 8, as ordered.

The judge noted that the letter of introduction of the sureties was dated March 13 while the affidavit of means was dated March 11.

“I bent backwards based on the conditions of the earlier bail granted him but he did not meet it,” the judge stated.

Omotosho then adjourned the case till March 20, for consideration of the bail perfection.

However, the judge held that “the defendant shall be remanded at the Kuje correctional center”.

Earlier during the proceedings, Simon Lough, prosecution lawyer, attempted to make an oral application seeking the transfer of the case from the Abuja division of the federal high court to Lagos.

He submitted that the proper jurisdiction for the trial of the defendant is Lagos division since the alleged offences occurred in the state noting that all the witnesses and evidence are there too.

But the judge held that the application should be written out.

“Transfer is not by oral application, it has to come through affidavit evidence,” the judge held.

The application will also be heard on the next adjourned date.

 

 

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