Law News
N8bn scam: Court hears bail applications June 11

APPLICATIONS for bail by the officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria involved in the N8bn mutilated currency fraud could not be heard at the Federal High Court, Ibadan Division, on Monday, because counsels to some of the accused persons were not served the necessary papers.

Consequently, Justice Olayinka Faaji has ordered that the accused persons continued to be remanded in prison custody till Thursday, June 11, 2015, when the bail application will be heard.

Justice Faaji, last week, had rejected the oral application made by the counsels to the accused persons, who have been put to trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly stealing and circulating mutilated Naira notes scheduled for destruction by the CBN.

Total of 12 accused persons were on Monday brought to the court in an old prison vehicle with registration number PRISONS PS 577 A0/1.

But proceeding came to a halt early as the counsels to some of the accused persons complained that they had not been served the processes of the court. Others also said they received the court papers late on Friday.

The bail applications were considered in two batches with the first batch involving Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Adeola and Kayode Phillip, all accused employees of the CBN. Others are Isiaq Akano, Ayodele Adeyemi, Oyebamiji Akeem, Ayodeji Alase and Ajiwe Adegoke.

The second batch involved Oni Dolapo, Esther Olunike Afolabi, Ademola Adewale, Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran and Kayode Phillip.

There were arguments among counsels on whether all suspects’ applications should be heard together by Justice Faaji or separately but the judge insisted that the bail applications would be heard together.

Outside the court, relations of the accused bank officials threatened to attack journalists covering the proceeding for daring to take the photographs of the accused.

The relations shouted at the journalists to go after politicians that were responsible for the collapse of the economy rather than celebrating the alleged crime of the accused bank officials.

Counsel to Akano, Mr. Nathaniel Oke (SAN), after the session, briefed journalists on the implication of the judge’s order.

Oke said, “The adjournment is in relation to the time involved in the matter. The order of the court was that as of Friday, June 5, 2015, all processes relating to the matter should be filed and exchanged.

“But some parties were served late, which necessitated further reactions. And some came to court this morning for the purpose of filing additional processes, which have not been served on one another. Before we can go on, all the processes must have been received so that parties can have ample opportunity of either reacting or not reacting. You cannot react to what you did not see. So, it was on that basis that the matter was adjourned till Thursday.

“By then, all parties would have been in possession of documents to be used against one another. The implication of this therefore is that the accused persons have to be returned to the prison custody until Thursday when consideration will be given to their various bail applications.”


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