For the six executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over N8billion mutilated currency recycling fraud, they will know the fate of their bail applications next Monday, June 15.
Justice Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court Ibadan, Oyo State adjourned to Monday for ruling on the bail application brought by the accused persons — Patience Okoro Eye; Afolabi Olufemi Johnson; Ilori Adekunle Sunday; Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola and Fatai Adedokun Yusuf
During the last sitting of the court where the matter was adjourned, Counsel to the EFCC Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) prayed the court not to grant the accused persons bail as they were capable of interfering with the case. He also told the court that some of the accused persons have threatened witnesses in the case who are staff of the apex bank, prompting the bank to transfer such staff.
According to Jacobs, in view of public interest and the current mood of the nation, it is better to remand the accused persons in prison custody and order for accelerated hearing.
However, counsel to the first accused, A. Lawal requested the court to grant bail to his client. He assured that he would be available to face his trial.
The same argument was canvassed by the counsel to other accused persons. After listening to the submissions of the counsel, Justice Ayo Emmanuel adjourned to Monday, June 15 for ruling.
In a similar development, Jacobs (SAN) also prayed the court to refuse three former staff of the CBN and two staff of Sterling Bank bail.
The accused — Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Toogun Kayode Philips (all former staff of the CBN) and Salami Ibrahim and Oddiah Emmanuel ( both staff of Sterling Bank Plc) were arraigned on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
Specifically, the bankers were alleged to have defrauded their banks various sums of money totaling N1, 141,303,300 using various guises and pretenses.
Counsels to the 1st accused person, Otunba Bolanle and counsel to the 2nd and 3rd accused Olalekan Ojo were vehement in their prayers for bail. Justice Emmanuel adjourned the case to June 15 for ruling on the bail applications.
The same scenario played out in the case involving Babalola, Adeola and Toogun Kayode Philips and Tope Akintade, staff of Ecobank Plc who were docked on a 15-count charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing to the tune of N910,210,100.00 (Nine Hundred and Ten Million, Two Hundred and Ten Thousand, One Hundred Naira only).