A former minister of power and steel during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Olu Agunloye, has been granted bail of N50 million by a Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja.
The Federal High Court, on Thursday, January 11, 2024, granted Agunloye bail, following the request by the former minister’s lawyer.
The former minister’s lawyer, Adeola Adedipe had during Thursday’s court session, prayed to the court to grant bail to his client by way of self-recognisance or in liberal terms.
Adedipe noted that Agunloye is not a flight risk and that the notion canvassed by the prosecution was “born out of misconception and communication barrier”.
The legal practitioner during the session, 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).
Adeola said, Under this provision, “Once a defendant is admitted to bail, even if he absconds, the trial will continue and he will be convicted where necessary.”
Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel opposed the bail application.
During the judgement, the court granted the former minister bail, while ordering him to produce two sureties in like sum.
The sureties must be “reputable” and “people of means” resident within the FCT, the judge ruled.
He continued, “They must have properties worth N300 million with a Certificate of Occupancy that must be verifiable.
The minister was arraigned on seven count charges, bordering on fraudulent award of contract and official corruption, on Wednesday.
Agunloye is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, over the $6 billion Mambilla Hydropower Contract.
The trial judge, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie ordered his remand in Kuje Correctional Centre, pending a hearing and ruling on his bail application.
The trial judge, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie ordered his remand in Kuje Correctional Centre pending hearing and ruling on his bail application.