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Ex-minister who jumped bail now in custody



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Former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Jumoke Akinjide is now in EFCC custody following her arraignment before Justice J.O Abdul-Malik of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo, on Thursday.
The EFCC arraigned the former minister along with Olanrewaju Otiti on an amended 12-count charge of money laundering.
The amount is N650 million from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke in the build- up to the 2015 general election.
Allison-Madueke was said to have disbursed $115 million to swing the last presidential election in favour of the PDP whose flagbearer was then President Goodluck Jonathan.
The third accused person Ayo Adeseun, a former senator, who failed to appear in court Thursday, is facing trial on counts one to 24.
All of them pleaded not guilty when te charges were read to them.
During Thursday’s proceedings, counsels to the defendants filed four applications asking the court to strike out the charges against Akinjide, and others,
They also challenged the validity of the amended charge brought by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo.
One the defending lawyers, Bolaji Ayorinde, told the court that the amended charge brought by the prosecution did not have a “seal” of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.
He therefore prayed the court not to take the pleas of the defendants.
However, EFCC counsel Oyedepo objected to the applications, saying the amended charge before the court was duly filed and served on the defendants.
Justice Abdul- Malik held that the original charge be substituted with the amended charge and ordered the first and third defendants to take their pleas.
Not satisfied, the two defence counsels withdrew their appearances for the defendants and angrily walked out of the court.
However, the prosecution counsel informed the court that the first and third defendants had initiated a plea bargain discussion with the prosecution and asked for a short adjournment to enable the parties to perfect the negotiation.
He also pleaded with the court to remand the first and third defendants in the EFCC custody, and the judge concurred in his ruling.
Counsel to the third defendant filed and served an application for bail and urged the court to grant his client bail on self-re cognizance.
Justice Abdul-Malik adjourned the matter to September 12 for hearing on the substantive matter.
Ruling on the bail application will be given July 6.