Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Court grants N200m bail to ex-Kwara finance commissioner   


tiamin rice

A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin on Monday granted N200 million bail to former Kwara State Commissioner for Finance, Ademola Banu.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on January 29 arraigned the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Kwara State, Ademola Banu of a Federal High Court, Ilorin on charges bordering on money laundering.

Mr Banu was arraigned before Justice Babangana Ashigar alongside Travel Messenger Company Limited and one Olarewaju Adeniyi on a nine-count charge.

In a statement on Wednesday, the EFCC’s spokesperson, Tony Orilade said that the defendants allegedly conspired among themselves to launder the sum of N411million belonging to the Kwara State Government.

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Count one reads: “That you, Olarewaju Adeniyi, Ademola Banu and Travel Messenger Limited between January to December 2018 in Ilorin within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence, to with: conversion of the sum of N411,000,000 only property of Kwara State Government,  which sum you reasonably ought to know was derived from fraud, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the money laundering (prohibition) (amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the same Act”.

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Defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole and Bamidele Ibironke , however, prayed Justice Ashigar to grant bail to their clients, arguing that the offences in which the defendants are standing trial are bailable.

Ruling on the bail application, Ashigar admitted each of the defendants to bail in the sum of N200 million with one surety in like sum.

“The surety is to have a landed property in Ilorin and must submit the Certificate of Occupancy to the Registrar of this honourable court which should be verified by the EFCC,” the judge added.

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Ashigar ordered the defendants to deposit their travel documents including passports, forbidding the defendants from travelling out of the country without the permission of the court.

Ashigar also directed that the two defendants should remain in the custody of EFCC in Ilorin until they perfected their bail conditions.

The case was adjourned till February 24 for the commencement of trial.

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