The EFCC’s prosecuting counsel, S. O Jaji, on Monday informed an Ikeja Special offences court that Ogunlana Adesina, a former president of the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should not be granted bail as he not only jumped administrative bail, but is also actively tampering with prosecution witnesses.
“The 1st defendant has been tampering with prosecution witness, he also jumped bail. He went and put the name of prosecution witnesses on social media,” Mr Jaji informed the court.
“The witnesses are afraid to come to court and testify. Some have informed prosecution that they can’t come to court to testify.
“From the inception of this case, the first defendant has been violent. They have lied before this court once and we urge your lordship not to grant bail application.”
Mr Jaji also told the court that the second defendant, Yinka Faroumbi, assaulted an EFCC operative.
“The 2nd defendant assaulted an EFCC operative while jumping bail.”
The counsel to the 1st defendant, Akin Olatunji, urged the court to grant the defendants bail, noting that the obligation to grant bail is at the discretion of the court and the court should exercise that discretion.
“The court is at discretion to admit the defendants to bail, after their arraignment. The essence of bail is for defendants to be present in court. They are responsible personalities who are ready to come for the trial anytime as demonstrated in their coming since Monday,” Mr Olatunji said.
The incident referred to by EFCC took place during a meeting of the NBA earlier this year while the EFCC tried effecting his arrest during the congress.
On why bail should not be granted to the third defendant, Aderinola Kappo, Mr Jaji said she presented a fake address to the EFCC.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun adjourned till June 6, for ruling on the bail application.
At the last sitting, the presiding Judge, Mojisola Dada, had granted temporary bail to the defendants on the ground that they were members of the bar and easily identified.
“I have considered the case of the matter and considering the fact that the defendants are ex-officials of the Nigerian Bar Association, the court will be granting them a temporary bail.”
The defendants are standing trials on 30 count charge bordering on alleged money laundering, stealing and conspiracy.
The allegation against the three defendants is that they conspired and stole Twenty million naira, belonging to the association, NBA.
The trio were alleged to have converted to their personal use. They allegedly put the said amount into Mr Ogunlana’s First Bank account through the issuance of cheque without authorisation between 2016 and 2018.
The prosecution informed the court that the offences are contrary to Sections 278 (1) (b) and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, No. 11, 2011, Conspiracy to commit felony to wit. Stealing contrary to Section 409 and 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No.11 Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2011.