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N25 billion fraud:Akala gets N500m bail

Justice Moshood Abass of the Oyo State High Court, Ring-Road, Ibadan, yesterday, granted bail to the former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and two other accused persons, being prosecuted along with him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Akala, Deputy Senate Chief Whip, Senator Hosea Agboola, who was also the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chief Matters and Chairman of Pentagon Engineering Services, Olufemi Babalola, were arraigned Tuesday on 11-count charge of conspiracy, awarding contract without budget provision, obtaining contract by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal acts, as well as concealing the genuine nature of the ownership of property.

Babalola was the contractor in all local government-related projects awarded during the administration of Akala. Ruling on their bail application, Justice Abass admitted the former governor to bail in the sum of N500million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must have landed property in one of the Government Reservation Areas (GRAs) in Ibadan and swear to an affidavit of means.

Agboola and Babalola were also admitted to bail in the sum of N300million with one surety each and in like sum. The sureties must show evidence of landed property in Ibadan GRA and swear to affidavit of means.
While admitting them to bail, the trial judge said the offence brought before the court was a bailable one, adding that since the three accused persons were not standing trial for an offence punishable by death, they must be granted bail.

He noted that a judge must be able to differentiate between a bailable offence and a non-bailable offence.
Citing section 118(1) of the Criminal Code, Justice Abass said the interpretation of the law is that a person charged with a non-criminal case may be granted bail, saying the essence of granting bail was for the accused person to be able to exercise some freedom while also presenting himself for trial. Justice Abass noted that since the three accused persons had voluntarily gave themselves up to the EFCC for arrest, interrogation and detention, they deserve to be admitted to bail.

According to him, nothing in the counter-affidavit in the application for bail, deposed to by the anti-graft agency, showed the accused persons as persons who could jump bail, while adding that both Agboola and Babalola had appeared before the EFCC for interrogations more that seven occasions between 2009 and the time of their eventual arraignment. He said: “I am inclined to believe that the applicants have voluntarily gave themselves up to the EFCC and have been cooperative to the commission, they ought to be considered for bail”.

For Akala, the judge, while sighting many jurisprudence from the Supreme Court, stated that it had been proved that he was not in good state of health, going by the medical report presented to the court which appear persuading than the counter-affidavit on his ailment which has no medical doctor’s backing.
He later fixed December 13, 14 and 15, 2011 for hearings on the 11-count charge against the three accused persons.

While reacting to his bail, Akala said he was happy to regain his freedom after seven days in EFCC custody.
Asked how he hopes to meet his bail condition, he simply replied: “I am a statesman; there are a lot of people out there who will be ready to fulfill the bail condition for me. I’m sure it will be done in the next 10 minutes.”


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Posted by on Oct 13 2011. Filed under Headlines, Oyo, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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