Saraki’s aide, accused of N3.5 billion fraud, granted bail

Gbenga Makanjuola (Photo Credit: Kraks TV)
Gbenga Makanjuola (Photo Credit: Kraks TV)

Gbenga Makanjuola, an aide to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, standing trial for alleged N3.5 billion fraud charge, has been granted a N250 million bail by a Lagos Federal High Court.

Also granted bail in the same sum by the court are Melrose General Services Ltd., Obiorah Amobi, (Operations Manager at Melrose), and Kolawole Shittu, a cashier, all standing trial on an 11-count N3.5 billion alleged fraud charge.

Mr Makanjuola, a deputy chief of staff to Mr Saraki along with other defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Granting the defendants’ application for bail, Justice Babs Kuewumiheld that the court possessed the discretion in granting bail, which must be exercised judicially and judiciously.

Mr Kuewumi said one of the paramount factors that the court looks at when exercising this discretion, was the ability of the accused to stand trial, as an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He held that bail was not meant to serve as punishment, but enable the accused appear and stand trial.

“On the whole, I have not been shown any proof that the accused will not stand trial to warrant refusing bail.

“The accused are hereby granted bail in the sum of N250 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.”

The court held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within Lagos Metropolis.

Mr Kuewumi further held that the sureties must deposit four recent passport photographs and a letter of Identification to the Court’s Registrar as part of the bail conditions.

The case has been adjourned till December 4, for trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned the defendants alleging that they committed the offence in December 2016.

It alleged that the defendants conspired to disguise the unlawful origin of the sum of N3.5 billion paid into the account of Melrose General Services Ltd.

According to the prosecution, the accused took control of the sum which was transferred from the Nigeria’s Governors Forum account, into a new generation bank account being operated by Melrose.

The prosecution said that the accused ought to have known that the sum represented proceeds of unlawful activities.

It said that the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15, 15 (2), 15(3), 18, and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Amendment Act 2011. (NAN)

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

 

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.