$6bn Mambilla contract: Court grants Obasanjo’s ex-minister, Agunloye N50m bail

Olu Agunloye, a former Minister of Power and Steel under the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, has been granted bail in the sum of N50 million by a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court sitting in Apo.

Agunloye was arraigned on seven counts bordering on fraudulent award of contract and official corruption, on Wednesday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating Agunloye over the $6 billion Mambilla Hydropower Contract.

The trial judge, Justice Jude Onwuegbuzie had ordered his remand in Kuje Correctional Centre pending hearing and ruling on his bail application.

But during Thursday’s court session, the former minister’s counsel, 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”.

The 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.

Ruling, the judge 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.

They must have properties worth N300 million with a Certificate of Occupancy that must be verifiable.

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