A Federal High Court sitting Ilorin, on Monday admitted to bail the four officials of the Kwara state government accused of financial malfeasance by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The officials were charged to court for allegedly engaging in money laundering to the tune of N20.3 million.
EFCC had last arraigned Abubakar Ishiak (Permanent Secretary Government House), Shina Akorede (Director of Finance and Administration), Rasaq Momonu (Controller Finance and Accounts) and Hafeez Yusuf (Cashier) all of government house before a Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, the state capital.
In the charge sheet, EFCC accused the four of making “cash payment of N20.3 million to one Energy Multi-Trade Interbiz limited for services rendered to the Kwara state Government House which cash sum exceeded the limitation of N10 million payable to a body corporate committing an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 12(2) of the same Act.”
Counsel to the accused Abdulwahab Bamidele had at the last adjourned date urged the court to use its discretionary powers in admitting them to bail. Counsel to EFCC Christopher Mshelia opposed the application, instead he prayed the court to accord the case accelerated hearing.
The court granted each of the accused persons bail with a sum of five million Naira and one surety each in like sum. The court added the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court as well as own landed property worth the bail sum. The court directed the sureties to deposit their certificates of occupancy (Cs o O) of the landed property with the registrar of court.
The court also ordered the accused persons to deposit their international passports with the court registry. In his ruling, presiding judge, Justice Baba Gana Ashigir conceded that granting of bails is the discretionary power of the court, adding that “the case is ordinarily bailable under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.” Justice Ashigir agreed with the applicants (accused) counsel that they would not jump bail and would not tamper with investigation.