Eight suspects arraigned before Justices Habeeb Abiru and Lateefa Okunnu of the Lagos High Court by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for their alleged role in the petroleum subsidy scam were yesterday granted bail on stringent conditions.
Counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, did not oppose the bail application of the defendants but asked the court to grant them bail on stringent conditions to compel them to be reporting to the court regularly.
The eight persons were said to have conspired to forge documents which they fraudulently used to obtain over N3 billion from the Federal Government purporting the said sum to be payment for subsidy under the Petroleum Support Fund.
Justice Okunnu granted bail to Aro Samuel Bamidele and Abiodun Kayode Bankole in the sum of N100 million each and three sureties in like sum. They are to swear to affidavit of means indicating that they can meet the bail conditions.
The sureties must be residents and have landed property in Lagos. One of the sureties must be a director in a registered company. Each of the sureties must present evidence of tax payment for the last three years and are to be verified by officers of EFCC within 72 hours.
The defendants are banned from travelling out of the country without the permission of the court and are to deposit their international passports with the court. They are also to report to EFCC once a month throughout the duration of the trial.
Justice Abiru on his part granted bail to the trio of Alhaji Adamu Aliyu Maula, George Ogbonna and Emmanuel Morah in the sum of N50 million each, and two sureties in like sum who must show evidence of tax payment in the last three years. They are also to own landed property worth N50 million in Lagos and should be gainfully employed.
The sureties are to be verified by the court registrar. Justice Abiru also admitted Ifeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu and Ngozi Ekeoma to bail in the sum of N75 million each and two sureties in like sum.
The sureties are to show evidence of tax payment in the last three years and should possess landed property in Lagos. The sureties must be gainfully employed and their claims verified by operatives of EFCC. The defendants are to deposit their travelling documents with the court.
Justice Abiru adjourned to November 26, 28 and 29 for trial while Justice Okunnu adjourned the case to 22, 27 and 28 November. The Acting Head of Media and Publicity in EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said yesterday that the accused persons were to remain in the commission’s custody until they perfect their bail terms.