N8bn CBN scam: Court adjourns ruling in bankers’ bail request

Image result for scam

September 27, 2017/Punch

Olufemi Atoyebi, Ibadan

Justice Mrs. J.O. Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, on Tuesday, adjourned ruling on the bail request made by the eight bankers standing trial in the Central Bank of Nigeria N8bn mutilated currency fraud

Abdulmalik said she would rule on the bail request on October 25, 2017.

The counsel to five of the eight bankers still standing trial, Oluwatoyin Sadiq, argued that denying the defendants bail again after three years in prison was like trampling on their right to bail.

She said after three years behind the bars, the defendants had become ill and frail while some of them who were nursing serious health conditions had been unable to attend to their health.

Among the those who were brought to court were Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru, Kayode Toogun,Olufemi Afolabi, Isaq Akano, Ayodeji Aleshe, , Ajiwe Sunday, Festus Adeyemi and Akeem Oyebamiji.

Sadiq said, “The defendants are requesting to be granted bail after three years in prison so that they can attend to their deteriorating health. An affidavit dated June 19, 2017 had been submitted to support the request. It was sworn to by Abdulganiy Dauda, who is a brother to the second defendant.

“The main issue is that whether the applicants will jump bail and whether their application is meritorious. The issue of jumping bail is subjective because nobody knows the mind of a man. Every refusal for applicants’ bail is an infringement on their rights. They have families with reputable sureties if granted bail.”

The counsel added, “The position that they could tamper with evidence is also subjective. The prosecution said that the applicants were serial offenders but that should not be the condition to determine my lordship decision. A former Adamawa State Governor, Bala Ngilari, was taken to court by the EFCC. He was convicted but he appealed and was granted bail. The rule is that even a convicted person can be granted bail.”

Sadiq told the court that all the property of the defendants had been taken over by the EFCC, adding that he would volunteer as a surety to ensure that all the fears were vacated.

Prosecution counsel, Adebisi Adeniyi, however objected the request, saying that the deponent to the affidavits submitted by the defence counsel lacked the authority to say that the defendants were suffering from failing health.

At the court were the suspects’ families. They told our correspondent that they were appealing to the National Judicial Council, National Assembly, Amnesty International, Human Rights Defendants and other rights agencies to help secure the release of the suspects on health grounds.

They also said that the Federal Government should be interested in the truth surrounding the allegation, and not in the death of the defendants as well as the emotional torture of their children whom they claimed were now out of school.

opan



investadvocate