A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday granted bail to former Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Emeka Mba, with a bond of N50 million.
Mr. Mba is facing trial on an amended 15-count charge bordering on alleged N2.89 billion fraud.
He is charged alongside the NBC’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Patrick Areh; Basil Udotai and Babatunji Amure.
According to the charge, the defendants connived to carry out the alleged diversion of the said fund, in violation of section 15 of the money laundering act, punishable under the same section.
The charges against the defendants had been amended in October, necessitating a re-arraignment of the accused which was earlier scheduled for December 13, but rescheduled to hold on Tuesday.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and their counsel sought that bail be granted to the accused, in compliance with a previous administrative bail they had been given by the commission.
The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, while granting the application for bail, said a bond of N50 million for each of the defendant would be required, as a condition for the bail.
He also said the defendants were to produce a surety with a landed property in like sum, who shall depose to an affidavit of means.
Mr. Kolawole added that the defendant’s counsel shall produce a written document acknowledging the mentioned sureties, which shall be submitted to the court.
The judge further said the defendants were to continue enjoying the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC, till 14 days from the date of the court’s ruling.
Failure of the defendant’s to meet the said bail conditions, would result in their re-arrest by the EFCC, said Mr. Kolawole.
“The defendants shall within 14 days fulfil the conditions. With the event that the defendants are unable to meet the conditions within 14 days from today, the bail shall automatically lapse and they shall be returned to the custody of the EFCC until they meet the bail conditions,” Mr. Kolawole said.
The trial was adjourned till February 28, 2017.