Marian Ali, Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan on Intergovernmental Affairs, is to stand surety for Christian Taylor, the oil subsidy fraud suspect whose nationality is in dispute, and described by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as “not stable”.
Mrs. Ali, the wife of Ahmadu Ali (a former chairman of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, under whose watch most of the subsidy scam was perpetrated) indicated in court today that she would stand surety for Mr. Taylor.
Mr. Taylor, had alongside Mamman Ali (Marian’s son) pleaded not guilty to a three-count charge of obtaining N4.4billion from the federal government under false pretence, last Thursday.
He told the judge that he is a citizen of Sierra Leone.
Adeniyi Onigbanjo, the judge, had among other bail conditions stipulated that one of their two sureties must be a blood relative of the applicant with landed property within Lagos State valued at N100million.
Mr. Taylor’s counsel pleaded with the judge that his client, being a foreigner, would have difficulties meeting the condition; the judge responded that he file a formal application to that effect.
At the resumed sitting on Monday, Toyin Pinheiro, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and one of the counsels to Mr. Taylor filed an application to the verification of his bail conditions.
However, Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the EFCC, said that Mr. Taylor’s assertion that he is a foreigner is worrisome.
“The defendant in his sworn deposition said that he is from Edo State. For him to now turn back and say he is Sierra Leonean,” said Mr. Jacobs.
“The important thing is for him to attend the trial and if he is not stable at this level, I wonder if he will be stable when released totally,” he added.
Mr. Onigbanjo had fixed today for hearing of the defendant’s application for verification of bail conditions.