The accused persons, as part of the bail conditions, are to present a surety each with a landed property within Benin high court’s jurisdiction.
A Benin High Court on Monday granted bail to the immediate past Secretary to the Edo State Government, Simon Imuekheme, along with three others accused of misspending N113 million.
Justice Esther Edigin granted bail to Mr. Imuekheme, who is standing trial along with three others in the sum of N3million each.
They are also to present a surety each with a landed property within Benin high court’s jurisdiction.
Mr. Imuekheme is standing trial along with three others over the alleged misapplication of the sum of N113 million State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, funds.
The three other accused persons are the immediate past chairman of the SUBEB, Joseph Emoabino, secretary of the board, David Igbinoba, and director of finance and accounting, Maghator Efe.
The judge adjourned the case to June 23 for the commencement of the trial proper.
The four accused had pleaded not guilty when they were first arraigned on March 10 but were then denied bail by the same court.
She based her denial on the fact that hearing was yet to be done on the bail application filed by counsels to the accused.
But on resumption of hearing on the bail application on Monday, counsel to Simon Imuekheme, Omoruyi Omonuwa argued that bail for his client was automatic.
He said that under the ICPC Act, the offence committed is a bailable one. He urged the judge to use her discretion to grant his client bail.
Counsels to the three other accused persons had adopted the bail application of the first accused as presented by his counsel, Mr. Omonuwa.
The counsel to EFCC, Larry Aso had prayed the court to deny the bail application of the four accused.
Mr. Aso had argued that granting the accused bail would mean granting them permission to jump bail.
“Because they are `powerful people’ they have the capacity of travelling out of the country at any time.
“They are also capable of tampering with the prosecuting witnesses whom have been their subordinate while in office.” Mr. Aso, however, called for an accelerated trial on the matter.
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