$1.2bn Malabu scam: Adoke re-arraigned, secures bail

By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, granted bail to the former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), on fresh money laundering charges.
Granting the bail, Justice Binta Nyako adopted the same terms and conditions of the N50million bail with one surety each, earlier granted them by Justice Abubakar Idris Kutigi of the Gwagwalada Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 30.
Counsel to the defendant, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo (SAN), informed the court that the defendants had already met the bail conditions earlier granted to them.
The senior lawyer pleaded with the court to make a specific order barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) from re-arresting them once the release order is served on the commission.
Justice Nyako held that such order would not be necessary as there would be no basis for their rearrest or continued detention once the court’s release order is served.
Earlier, Adoke and the defendant in the matter, A. Aliyu, pleaded not guilty to the fresh seven counts of making payments of dollar equivalent of about N600mullio, in violation of money laundering law.
Following the non guilty plea, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in EFCC custody pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined.
Responding, Adoke’s counsel, Kanu Agabi and Wole Olanipekun for Mr Abubakar, informed the court that they had filed separate applications for the bail of their clients.
On the strength of section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Mike Ozekhome, one of Adoke’s counsels, asked that “the applicant be granted bail on a favourable, liberal and easy affordable terms.”
On the alternative, an order allowing the applicant continue to enjoy the bail conditions already granted him in a sister case.”
On his part, Mr Olanipekun, also pleaded that the second defendant be granted bail as he has just one count charge and that he should also be granted bail on liberal terms.
However, the EFCC urged Justice Binta Nyako not to grant the defendants bail, adding that he will not be objecting to keeping the duo in the correctional facility.
Meantime, the matter is adjourned till April 1 and 2 for trial.

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