The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, admitted the wife of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Cecilia Osipitan, to a bail in the sum of N200 million with a surety in the like sum
Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Osipitan and her company, PJO Ventures Limited, on a nine-count money laundering to the tune of N6 billion.
Justice Ekwo had, on March 22, fixed Friday, March 26, for the arraignment following the complaint by the defence counsel that they were yet to see the charge in the matter owing to the fact that the defendant was only served the previous day before the planned arraignment.
While the EFCC is the complainant, Osipitan and her company are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively in the charge.
Osipitan was alleged to have received the money through her company, PJO Ventures Limited, to acquire choice property in parts of the country.
Although the EFCC counsel, Benjamin Manji, opposed the application for bail filed by counsel to the defendant, Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, Justice Ekwo granted the bail on discretion taking cognisance of the competing rights of the parties.
Granting the bail, the judge ordered that the surety must be a responsible citizen who has a landed property worth the bail sum within the jurisdiction of the court and that its documents be submitted to the court registrar.
Ekwo directed Osipitan to deposit her travel passport with the court registrar and ruled that the defendant should not travel outside the court jurisdiction or abroad pending the determination of the matter.
The judge, who allowed Osipitan to remain under the written undertaking of her counsel pending the perfection of her bail conditions, held that should the defendant failed to meet the bail terms by March 31, she should be taken to the EFCC’s custody.
He adjourned the matter until May 24, May 25 and May 26 for commencement of trial.
The EFCC said the offence of criminal Breach of Trust, contravened the provisions of Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (As amended) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.