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Court grants Ogun Speaker N300m bail

The Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo and two others were on Tuesday remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s custody by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State over alleged N2.475 billion money laundering.

Justice Daniel Osiagor ordered that they be remanded in the EFCC’s custody for one week, and that if they failed to meet the bail condition, they would be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The EFCC arrested the Speaker on Tuesday for alleged money laundering of N2.475 billion.

Oluomo was arraigned alongside three others, Oladayo Samuel, Adeyemo Adedeji Taiwo, and Adeyanju Amoke (all of whom are still at large), on 11 counts of conspiracy, forgery, stealing, and money laundering.

EFCC prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences between 2019 and 2022.

He said the incident took place in Ogun State.

Oyedepo told the court that they allegedly stole the sum of N2.475bn from the treasury of Ogun State House of Assembly.

When the charge was read to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty.

When the matter came up for arraignment on Tuesday, Mr Kehinde Ogunwunmiju, SAN, appeared for the first defendant, Akinyemi Aremu, for the second defendant and Oluwole Aladedoye for the third defendant.

On September 1, the EFFC’s Lagos Head of Legal Monitoring Unit, Rotimi Oyedepo, filed the charge at the Federal High Court, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The Commission said it intended to call at least 10 witnesses to testify and tender documents and exhibits.

The list of the witnesses includes Adamu Usman Yusuf, Otitoju Moses Kolawale, Yazid Ahmad Bawa, Anyanwu Bright, Adekunbi Mojibola, Munkaila Huzaifa and Idowu Oluseyi Olarenwaju.

Others are representatives of Ashkash Nigeria limited, representatives of Obasanjo Holdings limited(managers of the NNPC Mega Station) and representatives of Gateway Bank limited.

The Ogun State High Court had on Monday granted the application of the Commission for the case to be heard at the Federal High Court in Lagos by the vacation judge.

EFCC had earlier released the Speaker on bail. He, however, returned back to the Lagos office of the commission on Monday with other officials of the State House of Assembly, especially the clerk and accountant for further questioning.

The first defendant’s counsel, Ogunwunmiju SAN, informed the court that he had filed a bail application but was yet to be before the court.

While moving their applications for bail for the defendants, the first defendant’s counsel Igunwumiju (SAN), urged the court to grant the first defendant bail in liberal terms, adding that  Oluomo voluntarily returned to the EFCC office in Lagos on Monday, after he was granted administrative bail last Friday.

Justice Osiagor, while ruling on the bail application, admitted the first defendant to bail  in the sum of N300 million, with two sureties in like sum; one of whom must not be less than level 16 civil servant in the federal civil service.

The second and third defendants were granted bail in the sum of N100 million each with two sureties each in like sum, one of whom must not be less than level 14 in the civil service.

He said all the sureties must possess landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and Title documents were to be deposited with the court’s register.

The sureties must also possess three-year tax clearance certificates and swear to an affidavit of means.

All defendants are to also deposit their travel documents to the court registry.

However, the Judge ordered that the defendants be remanded at the EFCC custody for a maximum of one week and must perfect all their bail conditions by then or they would be transferred to the Nigerian Correctional facility in Abeokuta.

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