- To rule on bail application thursday
Alex Enumah in Abuja
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja wednesday ordered that an associate of Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, Abiodun Agbele, be remanded in Kuje prisons pending the determination of his bail application.
Agbele and three others were yesterday arraigned on an 11-count charge bordering on money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the tune of N4.6billion allegedly transferred from the Office of the National Security Adviser by Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The other defendants are; Sylvan Mcnamara Ltd, De Privateer Ltd and Spotless Investment Ltd.
Agbele has been in the custody of the EFCC since June 27, 2016.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba made the remand order after taking arguments from counsel on the bail application moved by counsel to the defendant; Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) who urged the court to grant bail to the defendant on self recognition.
Agbele had pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.
Ozekhome, in an eight paragraph affidavit supported by three exhibits deposed to by one Harrison Obi urged the court to admit his client to bail on self recognition.
He argued that the prosecution in his counter-affidavit failed to raise any legal issue worth addressing at all, other than bare assertion that the applicant is a flight risk that will jump bail if granted.
While noting that the prosecution have not laid any shred of evidence to support their allegations that the defendant is a flight risk, he said, the onus is on them to show that if granted bail the defendant will abscond his trial.
The defence counsel also supported his argument with an earlier judgment by the court in which the court held that it was not enough for prosecution to make wild allegations without concrete evidence to support its case, adding that the offence is bail able.
While informing that the applicant was granted administrative bail by the EFCC, Ozekhome added that the applicant was arrested by the EFCC right in his house and his international passport has been with the commission and was even used as a condition for his administrative bail.
He therefore urged the court to grant the bail application of his client.
However, objecting to the application, counsel to the EFCC, Jonson Ojogbane urged the court to refuse the bail application on the grounds that if granted bail, the defendant will jump bail. He said the applicant is a flight risk and has perfected plans to flee from the country before he was arrested.
According to him, the applicant in conjunction with a former Minister of Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, said to be at large, colluded to move and aid the escape of Olalekan Ogunseye a principal suspect in the case out of the country and if release on bail he will flee from the jurisdiction of the court.