Home News CBN Currency Scam: Court Dismisses Bail Applications

CBN Currency Scam: Court Dismisses Bail Applications

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 By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan

Justice Nathaniel Ayo Emmanuel of the Federal High Court, Ibadan on Monday ruled against the bail applications of the six Central Bank of Nigeria officials (CBN) and other staff of some commercial bank accused of defrauding the apex bank of over N8 billion.

The trial Judge dismissed the bail applications and described their actions as “a new dimension in economy crimes in Nigeria.”

He emphasized that the evidence against the accused persons were mind-boggling, which made it difficult for the court not to believe that they would not jump bails.

The accused persons whose bail applications were dismissed had been charged to court over the allegation of fraud, conspiracy, concealment and accusation of property illegally among other charges by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). They were arraigned in three batches.

In the first batch were Patience Okoro Eye, Afolabi Olufemi Johnson, Ilori Adekunle Sunday, Kolawole Babalola , Olaniran Muniru Adeola, and Fatai Adedokun Yusuf. They were all charged for five count charges.

Also, the second batch included Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Togun Kayode Philips, Salami Ibraheem (Sterling Bank) and Oddia Emmanuel (Sterling Bank). They were charged with eleven counts, while the third batch, which included Kolawole Babalola ,Olaniran Muniru Adeola , Togun Kayode Philips and Tope Akintade ( Eco Bank) were charged on fifteen count charges, which involved false entry of cash deposited by the Eco Bank of N490 million at CBN against N79.7million of N1000 mutilated notes between 2010 to 2014  .

Justice Emmanuel, in the ruling, declared that Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of Nigeria and Section 162 of the newly enacted criminal laws gave him the discretion to admit the accused persons to bail but that the accused in their proof of evidence must put credible evidence before the court.

Justice Emmanuel emphasized that the submissions of the counsel to the accused persons that the accused did not jump bail when EFCC gave them administrative bails could not hold water because the commission could not detain suspects more than a specific period.

The trial judge noted that the offence, which the accused persons, had committed was a new way in economic crimes that have serious implications on the nation’s economy generally.

“I am not persuaded with the submission of the counsel to all the accused persons that they deserved to be admitted to bail. Laws must always be used for society engineering and if this should be so, the court must feel the pulse of the society in discharging her discretions,” he said.

Justice Emmanuel therefore dismissed all the bail applications and granted all the accused accelerated hearing.

He adjourned the hearing the substantive suits to 6th and 7th of July 2015.

However, counsel to the 2nd and 3rd accused persons, Barrister Olalekan Ojo, later told Journalists that there shouldn’t  be room for parity of judgment in the administration of justice in the country.

Barrister Ojo noted that” we have cases of former governors, banks chiefs especially during former governor of CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, before courts  all over the country that were granted bails pending trial.”

He noted that the families of the accused persons had instructed them to appeal against Justice Emmanuel’s ruling .

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