N8 Billion Scam: Court Refuses Bail For Bankers

N8 Billion Scam: Court Refuses Bail For Bankers

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SAN, Lawyers
File: Statue representing Justice at Federal Hight Court Lagos

A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan on Monday, June 14, 2015 presided over by Justice Ayo Emmanuel has refused to grant bail to the Central Bank of Nigeria and other commercial bank officials, involved in the N8bn mutilated currency fraud, while also granting their case an accelerated hearing.

Persons to be remanded behind bars are Kolawale Babalola, Olaniren Adeola, Toogun Philipe, Salami Ibrahim, Odiah Emmanuel, Patient Okoro, Afolabi  Johnson, Ilori Sunday, Fatai Yusuf and Tade Akintade.

They were docked in a group three during the ruling.

However, the counsel for the accused stated that they would appeal the ruling.

After they had been caught and held within the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, their counsel filed applications for bail and supported the action with sworn affidavits.

Barrister Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), who is the lead prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, sought to nullify the applications through counter affidavits which he had submitted to the court.

While the ruling was being delivered on Monday, June 14, 2015 Justice Emmanuel stated that he was not convinced by the submissions of the defendants counsel to grant the suspects bail.

Justice Emmanuel disclosed that he considered a number of factors associated with granting bail, among which is the possibility of the accused persons committing another offence, influencing or interfering with the witnesses or the investigation officers, concealing or destroying evidence and their availability to stand trial if granted bail.

The judge went on to reveal that he also put into consideration, the evidence brought against the suspects, the nature and gravity of their offences, their criminal antecedents, the possibility of other charges being brought against them, their intentions and ability to present medical report pending the final dismissal of the case.

“I have considered the evidence before the court; the offences are mind-boggling and weighty. I have not been persuaded by the submission before me to think otherwise.

“Evidences before me point to a new wave of economic crime.

“I must state that the court does not have the power to detain an accused person beyond constitutional limit.

“The discretion to grant bail resides with the court but such discretion must also be judiciously applied.

“The alleged crimes have adverse effect on the economy of the nation and the offence carries a maximum of 21 years in prison.

“It is a capital offence against the economy of this country.

“It is a common knowledge that the first, second and third accused (Babalola, Adeola and Phillips) are answering other criminal charges in suits before me.

“In view of evidences before me, I have not been persuaded or convinced by the sworn affidavits tendered by the accused persons that if granted bail, they will not interfere with court processes.

“In concluding, the accused persons have not persuaded me to exercise my discretion to admit them to bail. T

“he bail application is hereby dismissed and I grant the order of accelerated hearing.

“This court will not tolerate frivolous applications,” The Judge stated.

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