The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Tanimu Turaki, who is facing fraud charges.
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order on Monday during the arraignment of the former minister and three others.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had filed 16 counts of unlawful and criminal misappropriation of funds against Turaki, his aide, and two companies.
Other defendants in the charges include one Sampson Okpetu who served as Turaki’s special assistant, as well as Samtee Essentials Limited and Pasco Investment Limited which allegedly belong to Okpetu.
When the counts were read to him, the former minister pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Okpetu also pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges levelled against him by the Federal Government.
Thereafter, the presiding judge granted bail to the former minister in self-recognisance, as well as his aide.
While adopting the administrative bail terms granted to Turaki, the trial judge ordered the former minister not to travel outside the jurisdiction of the court without permission.
He also ordered the EFCC to deposit the international passport of the defendants with the Registrar of the court and asked the duo to report to the anti-graft agencies on a periodic basis.
Justice Ekwo also fixed June 22, 23, 24 and 25, 2020 for the commencement of the trial of the defendants.
Turaki, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs from 2013 to 2015.
He also served as the Supervising Minister of Labour under former President Goodluck Jonathan.