A Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday fixed June 20 to whether or not to grant bail to the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Warpamo Dudafa. Dudafa was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission—EFCC alongside Taiwo Ebenezer who is also known as Olugbenga Isaiah on a 23-count charge bordering on N5.1 billion fraud.
They were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris. On Wednesday, Justice Idris adjourned the case till June 20 for ruling on the accused persons’ bail application, after listening to arguments from the counsel to the parties. When the case was called, counsel to the accused, Mr. Gbenga Oyewole, argued that his client was entitled to bail as provided by the 1999 Constitution.
Citing a plethora of authorities, the lawyer insisted that his client would attend court to defend the case if granted bail. He argued further that his client had stayed in custody of the EFCC for 60 days, and prayed the court to be liberal in granting the bail. Counsel to the second accused, Mr. Sunday Abumere aligned himself with Oyewole’s submission. Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, vehemently opposed the application for bail on the grounds that the accused were most likely to evade trial if granted bail. He submitted that there were intelligence report to the effect that the accused persons would jump bail if granted, and urged the court to dismiss the application for bail.
Justice Idris fixed June 20 for ruling, while the accused are to remain in prison custody. In the charge, the EFCC alleged that the accused had between June 11, 2013, and June 2015, used different companies to commit offences. Some of the companies allegedly used in committing the alleged offences included Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Iwejuo Joseph Nna and Pluto LUTO Property.
Others are Investment Company Limited, Iwejuo Joseph Nna and Rotate Interlink Services Limited. The accused were alleged to have concealed proceeds of a crime in the sum of over N5 billion, contrary to the provisions of the money laundering prohibition act, 2012. The alleged offences are said to be contrary to and punishable under sections 17(a), 18(c), and 27 (3) (c) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.