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Subsidy trial: Bamanga’s son, 2 others get bail

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Image:Bamanga’s son

subsidy scam were yesterday arraigned by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja for offences ranging from conspiracy and collection of money under false pretences from federal government.

Prominent among those who were arraigned included Mahmud Tukur (son of the current PDP chairman), Mamman Nasir Ali (son of the ex-PDP chairman), Abdullahi Alao (son of the multi-billionaire, Alhaji Arisekola Alao), Alex Ochonogor and a Sierra Leonean, Christian Taylor, all of whom were eventually granted bail.

The accused persons are among the 20 suspects the EFCC is alleging to have stolen N13.4 billion from fuel subsidy by the federal government to oil marketers in the country. The total money alleged to have been stolen is N1.6 trillion.

Delivering the ruling in the first case he presided over, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo ruled that Mamman Ali and Christian Taylor should be granted bail in the sum of N20 million each, with two sureties in the like sum. According to the judge, one of the two sureties must be a blood relation who has a landed property in Lagos worth N100 million while the second surety must be a level 16 officer in the Lagos or federal government employment.

The accused persons were also ordered to hand over their international passports to EFCC just as business and residential addresses of the sureties and their properties be supplied before the bail application could take effect.

Similarly, in the second case presided over by Justice Onigbanjo, involving Tukur, Ochonogor, Alao and Eterna Oil and Gas, the judge applied the same bail conditions he had earlier granted Ali and Taylor, saying since the counsels from both parties have agreed and the fact that the case are related to each other.

Meanwhile, the three other accused persons who were standing for a similar trial before Justice Habeeb Abiru of the same high court however failed to secure bail because of what the judge described as a “premature application” by their counsels.

The three defendants, whose bail applications were turned down included Adaoha-Ugo Ngadi, Fakuade Ebenezer and Ezekiel Ejidele and Ontario Oil and Gas. Their applications were turned down because the judge said the case cannot proceed until the first defendant, Walter Wagastoma, showed up.

But according to counsel to Wagastoma, Babajide Koku SAN, Wagastoma would have loved to attend the hearing but for the fact that he travelled out of the country and he is due to return to Nigeria on Monday. He pleaded with the court to adjourn the case till Wednesday August 1 so as to allow the accused person to attend.

Also, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke (SAN) whose absence stalled court proceeding on Wednesday, failed to appear in court. According to EFCC counsel, the AGF had promised to attend the hearing if not for certain pressing matter of national importance that prevented him from coming

Article Credit:Thisday News

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Updated 6 Years ago

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