The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted a N50m bail to the immediate-past Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, who is facing N2.2bn fraud charges.
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, on Wednesday, granted Fayose bail with two sureties in like sum.
The judge said one of the sureties is to sign N50m bond from a reputable bank; while the other must own a landed property within Lagos.
The sureties are to show evidence of three years’ tax clearance.
Fayose was directed to deposit his passport in the court’s custody pending the outcome of the case.
The judge ordered that the ex-governor should be remanded in the prison custody until he meets the bail conditions.
She adjourned till November 19, 2018 for the commencement of trial, stressing that the trial would be conducted on a day-to-day basis.
Earlier while moving the application for Fayose’s bail, the defence counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), had urged Justice Olatoregun to admit the ex-governor to bail on self-recognizance.
Agabi urged the judge to note that Fayose submitted himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying there was no fear that his client would jump bail and abscond.
But the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), countered Agabi’s application, saying even though Fayose submitted himself to the EFCC, he was accompanied to the anti-graft agency’s office by aggressive hoodlums, who could have attacked EFCC officials.
Jacobs added that the EFCC was still searching for some other properties allegedly acquired by Fayose with fraud proceeds, saying releasing the ex-governor on bail would frustrate further investigation.
The judge, however, admitted Fayose to bail.
Though the judge said he should be remanded in the prison custody pending the fulfilment of his bail conditions, Fayose, after leaving the courtroom, was not handed over to prison officials.
Unlike in other cases where defendants in criminal cases are led by prison officials into the holding cell on the court premises, from where they are later transported alongside other accused persons to prison,
Fayose, after leaving the courtroom, was led into the EFCC bus, which conveyed him to court on Wednesday morning.
He was later driven away in the same bus, led by a police pick-up van.
His media aide, Lere Olayinka, told our correspondent that spirited efforts were being made to meet the bail conditions.
Fayose is being tried alongside a firm, Spotless Limited, said to be owned by him and his family.
The defendants were arraigned on Monday, October 22, 2018, on 11 counts bordering on criminal breach of trust, stealing and money laundering.
They pleaded not guilty.
Among other things, the EFCC alleged that on June 17, 2014, Fayose “took possession of the sum of N1, 219, 000,000 to fund your 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State, which you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: criminal breach of trust/stealing.” – Punch.