Alleged N1.2bn Fraud: Iwu Still in Prison, Yet to Perfect Bail Conditions

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Davidson Iriekpen

One week after Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court in Lagos granted a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Maurice Iwu, a N1billion bail, he was yet to meet the conditions, his counsel, Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), has said.

The former INEC chairman, who is still in prison, was arraigned on August 8, on a four-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N1.2 billion preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

Justice Obiozor had on Friday August 9, admitted Iwu to bail in the sum of N1billion, with two sureties in like sum.

The former INEC chairman was granted bail after counsel to parties had argued on the bail application by the defendant/applicant and the counter affidavit by the prosecution.

In his submission, Raji had prayed the court for an order admitting the defendant to bail on self-recognisance, pending the hearing and determination of charge filed against him; or, in the alternative, an order of the court admitting the defendant on liberal terms.

In his submission, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application on the ground that the defendant would interfere or intimidate prosecution witnesses.

He, however, averred that if the court must grant the bail, the conditions attached should be stringent.

In that ruling, Justice Obiozor admitted Iwu to bail N1billion.

The judge further ordered that the first surety must have a property registered in Lagos valued at N1billion and must be resident in Lagos.

He also ordered that the surety must produce evidence of tax clearance, statement of his bank account, with passport photos of both the surety and defendant.

The judge further ordered that the second surety must be a civil servant on Grade Level 16, or a professor.

While ordering that the defendant be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons pending the perfection of his bail conditions, Justice Obiozor stressed that the defendant must not interfere with the witnesses during trial.

As a vacation judge, having presided over the arraignment and concluded with the ruling on bail application, he directed the court registrar to return the case file to the administrative judge for re-assignment.

But yesterday Raji said everything was in top gear for Iwu to perfect the bail conditions.

He said though the bail conditions were stringent, it would be perfected.