Court charges Adoke with N50m bail ..

…issues warrant of arrest on Etete

An Abuja High Court sitting in Gwagwalada, yesterday, admitted to bail a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN, in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

The trial judge, Justice Abubakar Idris Kutigi, also admitted Adoke’s co-defendants, Aliyu Abubakar and Rasky Gbinigie, to bail pending the determination of corruption allegations against them.

While it gave the 2nd defendant, Abubakar bail in the sum of N50 million, it granted the 3rd defendant, Gbinigie bail in the sum of N10 million.

The court ordered that the sureties must be responsible citizens that must depose affidavits of means.

Justice Idris further held that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must own verifiable landed properties worth the bail sum.

The court further ordered the sureties to tender their three-year tax clearance certificates, even as it seized international passports of all the defendants, warning them not to travel out of the country without permission.

The court held that the defendants must sign a written undertaking not to interfere with any of the prosecution witnesses and to make themselves available for trial at all times.

The judge, however, warned that breach of any of the conditions would warrant automatic revocation of the defendants’ bail.

He consequently dismissed a counter-affidavit the EFCC filed to oppose the release of the defendants on bail.

In a related development, the court also issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dauzia Loya (Dan) Etete and two others that were linked with the alleged $1.1 billion Malabu Oil scam.

Justice Kutigi issued the arrest warrant on the strength of an ex-parte application and affidavit the EFCC brought before the court.

Others the court said should be arrested are Munamuna Seidougha and Amaran Joseph.

EFCC had, through its counsel, Bala Sanga, told the court that the trio have been at large and had since refused to make themselves available for trial.

It alleged that the suspects have been residing in France and were occasionally sighted in different parts of Europe.

The anti-graft agency maintained that the order would enable it to collaborate with the International Police (Interpol) to ensure that they were arrested and extradited back to the country for prosecution.

The three suspects were mentioned as defendants in corruption charges pending before different courts.

They were accused of complicity in the alleged fraudulent transfer of ownership of Oil Prospecting License, OPL, 245, regarded as one of the biggest oil blocs in Africa.