Law News
Moro returns to prison as court rules on bail today

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday sent a former Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, and a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami, back to prison till today when a ruling on their bail applications would be delivered.

Justice Anwuli Chikere had on Monday ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison shortly after they were arraigned on 11 counts of N675m fraud bordering on the March 15, 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment.

But the judge also on Monday granted their co-accused, Mrs. Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a former Permanent Secretary of the ministry, a tentative bail in the terms and conditions of the administrative bail granted her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on February 22.

Daniel-Nwobia was also on Wednesday allowed to return home pending the scheduled ruling on the bail applications on Thursday.

Moro, Daniel-Nwobia and Alayebami were on Monday arraigned along with the firm contracted to handle the recruitment, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.

During the hearing of their bail applications on Wednesday, the EFCC represented by its lawyer, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, opposed the defendants’ bail applications.

In his application, Moro stated that he was suffering from acute diabetes and high blood pressure.

He, like other accused persons, also pledged to attend the trial, and would not jump bail.

The EFCC, in its counter-affidavit, faulted the claim, arguing that, while in its custody, and throughout investigation into the case, Moro neither complained of ill-health nor was he treated for any ailment.

The anti-graft agency also faulted Moro’s pledged to abide by the bail conditions and attend trial, stating that it had to revoke the administrative bail earlier granted him.

An EFCC investigator, Isa Joshua, stated in a supporting affidavit, that “The defendant/applicant conspired with other defendants to award a contract for the provision of online enlistment and recruitment services to Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, knowing that the company had no legal capacity to enter into the contract.”

He told the court that Moro would frustrate its effort to apprehend others involved in the alleged crime as they were being trailed by EFCC’s operatives.

Moro’s supporters, mostly young men and women, thronged the court on Wednesday wearing T-shirts, with his picture embossed on them.

After the proceedings, as Moro was being taken away to prison, the supporters sang his praises as he was being led to a waiting prison van.

Some of them wept as Moro was being taken away.

Prison officials also attacked journalists, who were trying to capture Moro’s exit on camera.


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