A Federal High Court, today, admitted bail Atiku Abubakar’s son-in-laws, Abdullahi Babalele, Barrister Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, who is said to be Atiku’s lawyer and the lawyer’s Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, in the sum of N20 million with one surety each.
The trio were arraigned before the court yesterday, on two separate charges, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on money laundering charges.
While the Atiku’s son-in-law was arraigned on a two count-charge of Laundering $140,000 USD, the Giwa-Osagie’s brothers were arraigned on three counts charge of Laundering $200 million USD.
In the charge against Babalele, the EFCC alleged that he had on February 20, 2019, procured and aided one Bashir Mohammed to make cash payment of the sum of $140,000 USD, without going through financial institution.
The anti-graft agency also alleged that Osagie’s brothers were also alleged to have on February 12, 2019, aided each other and made cash payment of $2 million USD, without going through the financial institutions.
The offences, according to the prosecution, are contrary to sections 18(c), 18(a), 1(a), 16(1), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16, 16(2)(b)16(2)(b) of the same Act.
At the resumed hearing of the motion for bail today, counsel to son-in-law to Atiku, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), after citing several authorities to support his submission, urged the court to admit his client to bail in the most liberal terms.
In the same vain, lawyers to Osagie’s brothers, Ahmed Raji and Norrison I. Quakers, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) pleaded with the court to admit their clients to bail on self recognition, saying that the fist defendant, Barrister Giwa-Osagie, is a senior member of the Bar.
Responding, the EFCC counsel, Usman Buhari, urged the court to discountenance the defendants applications, on the likelihood of not turning up for their trial.
In his separate bench ruling, Justice Oweibo said the prosecutor have failed to counter the deposition in the defendants’ affidavits, he consequently admitted all the defendants to bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety each.
The surety, according to Justice Oweibo, must be residents within the court’s jurisdiction and landed property owners.
Justice Oweibo while ordered that Atiku’s son-in-law is to be remanded in the custody of EFCC pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.
He however ordered that the Osagie’s brothers should be in the custody of their counsel for 14 days to fulfill the bail conditions, while the matter was adjourned till October 8, for trial.