The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Apo, Abuja, has granted bail to the former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, in the sum of N50 million.
Agunloye was arraigned on seven counts bordering on fraudulent award of a contract and official corruption, on Wednesday, January 10.
The judge had ordered his remand in Kuje Correctional Centre pending hearing and ruling on the bail application.
Moving the application for his release on Thursday, the Counsel for the former minister, Adeola Adedipe, prayed the court to grant bail to his client by way of self-recognisance or in liberal terms.
He said Argunloye is not a flight risk and that the notion canvassed by the prosecution was “born out of misconception and communication barrier”.
Adedipe also prayed the court not to order the use of a public servant as surety for his client.
The senior lawyer also argued that the apprehensive misconception about bail and the mischief argued by the prosecution has been cured by Section 352( 4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
Under this provision, Adeola said, “Once a defendant is admitted to bail, even if he absconds, the trial will continue and he will be convicted where necessary.”
However, the prosecution counsel opposed the bail application.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie, said the pendulum of the court swings in favour of granting bail to the defendant.
He granted N50 million bail to the defendant and ordered him to produce two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be “reputable” and “people of means” resident within the FCT.
They must have properties worth N300 million with a Certificate of Occupancy that must be verifiable.
They must submit copies of their identity card and photocopies of their international passports to the court.
The defendant is to submit his passport to the court and must be present for hearing at all times.
The matter has been adjourned to February 12.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Agunloye over the $6 billion Mambilla Hydropower Contract.