A special offences court sitting at Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday granted bail in the sum of N500,000 to ex officials of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch. They are two ex-Chairmen, Adesina Ogunlana and Yinka Faroumbi, and a former financial secretary, Aderinola Kappo.
The judge, Mojisola Dada, while delivering her ruling said the prosecution failed to provide proof that the defendants, especially the first defendant, tampered with prosecution witnesses.
Mrs Dada also said there was no proof that the defendants jumped administrative bail or that the third defendant gave a fake address to the EFCC.
“The allegation that the three defendants jumped administrative bail was not proven, although the first and third defendants said they were not around on the last Friday they were supposed to appear before the EFCC. But, they presented themselves the next Monday for arraignment, despite not being served by the EFCC.”
“There is no evidence that shows that the EFCC investigated the claims of the third defendant that she was in an hospital in Badagry on that Friday. The EFCC also failed to produce the second defendant in court for arraignment despite being in EFCC custody up until then. ”
“Failure to appear on the last Friday should not be sufficient reason to deny them bail but they will not be granted bail on self-recognition.”
“The defendants are granted bail in the sum of 500,000 and two sureties in like sum, one of whom must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.”
“The defendants shall remain on temporary bail pending the perfection of their bail within two weeks, failure of which they will be remanded in prison.”
The matter was adjourned till July 3, 9 and 10, for commencement of trials.
The defendants are standing trials on a 30 count charge bordering on alleged money laundering, stealing, and conspiracy.
The allegation against
The three defendants are accused of conspiring to steal ₦20 million belonging to the NBA.
The trio were alleged to have converted to their personal use the said amount into Mr Ogunlana’s First Bank account through the issuance of cheque without authorisation, between 2016 to 2018.
The prosecution informed the court that the offences are contrary to Sections 278 (1) (b) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, No. 11, 2011, Conspiracy to commit felony to wit. Stealing contrary to Section 409 and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No.11 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.