The Federal High Court, Abuja, Thursday, has granted bail with the sum of N500 million to an aide to Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Abiodun Agbele.
This was barely 24 hours after the court remanded Agbele at Kuje Prison after he was docked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 11-count criminal charge under Presidion of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who also granted the bail application.
Mr. Agbele was given bail under the condition to provide two sureties in the sum of N250 million each.for alleged money laundering.
The judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, who granted the bail, said the prosecution could not substantiate its claim that the defendant would jump bail.
“I note that the offence the defendant is charged with carries a sentence of three years imprisonment.
“Under Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), I am required to release a person charged within the threshold of the penalties referenced above to bail.
“This is, however, except in circumstances where there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant when released on bail will commit another offence.
“Taking a holistic appraisal of all the materials before me, I am not convinced that the prosecution has provided sufficient evidence as to stop the court from exercising its jurisdiction to grant bail.
“I hold, therefore, that I am inclined to admit the defendant to bail and I so admit him,” Mr. Dimgba declared.
He said every citizen charged with an offence was entitled to a conducive environment devoid of fear to prepare his defence.
The judge held that Mr. Agbele would forfeit the N500 million to the Federal Government if he jumps bail.
He said that the sureties could be private businessmen, professionals or civil servants, adding that if in the civil service, he must not be less than the rank of a director.
Mr. Dimgba said the sureties must also be owners of property within the Federal Capital Territory and in Ikeja or Victoria Island, Lagos.
The judge also ordered the defendant to deposit his international passports with the registrar of the court and must not travel abroad without the permission of the court.
He further said that the trial shall be accorded accelerated hearing and the defendant would remain in prison custody until he perfected his bail conditions.
He adjourned the case till Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 for hearing.
The anti-graft agency alleged that the defendant had between April 4 and November 13, 2014, connived with the then Minister of Defence for State, Musliu Obanikoro, Lt. A.O Adewale, Tunde Oshinowo and Olalekan Ogunseye to launder over N4.6bn from office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.
Mr. Agbele had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Mr. Agbele and others are standing trial for conspiring among themselves to commit an illegal act to launder N4.6 billion transferred from the Office of the National Security (NSA).