Alleged $6bn fraud: Ex-Minister Agunloye secures N50m bail - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Alleged $6bn fraud: Ex-Minister Agunloye secures N50m bail

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Apo, on Thursday, granted bail to a former Minister of Power and Steel,  Olu Agunloye, who was remanded in prison custody over his alleged complicity in a $6billion contract fraud.

Trial Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie gave bail to Agunloye who is answering to a seven-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him, to the tune of N50million with two sureties in the like sum.

According to the court, the sureties must be reputable and people of means that are resident within the FCT.

The court held that the sureties must own landed properties worth N300m, adding that Certificate of Occupancy of the said said properties must be verifiable.

More so, the trial judge ordered that the sureties must submit copies of their identity cards as well as photocopies of their international passports to the Registry of the court. 

The defendant was further ordered to submit his International passport to the court and ensure his availability at all times for his trial.

The defendant had through his counsel, Mr. Adeola Adedipe, SAN, begged the court to either grant him bail on self-recognisance or on very liberal terms.

While insisting on his innocence, Agunloye stressed that the charge the anti-graft agency slammed against him, contained bailable offence. 

He told the court that he would not pose any flight risk, saying he would be available for his trial.

Meanwhile, Justice Onwuegbuzie fixed February 12 to commence full-blown hearing of the case.

EFCC alleged that Agunloye who served as a Minister between 1999 and 2003, under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had while he was in the position, illegally awarded a contract for the construction of 3,960mw Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Station on a Build, Operate and Transfer Basis.

The agency told the court that the contract, which was awarded to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited, was done without any budgetary provision, approval and cash backing.

Agunloye was equally alleged to have corruptly received kickback to the tune of N3.6million, from the company he awarded the contract to.

However, the defendant, who had also served as a Minister of State for Defence, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was docked on Wednesday, even as the court remanded him in Kuje prison pending the decision on his bail application.

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