By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJA â€” The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arraigned nine principal officials of Kogi State and local governments before two Federal High Courts sitting in Abuja over alleged N3 billion fraud.
The accused persons, including four state commissioners and five chairmen of different local councils in the state, who were arraigned in four batches yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charge.
They include Commissioner for Agriculture, Albert Soje Adesina; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Tolorunjuwa Joseph and Commissioner for Agriculture, Samuel Abiodun Ojo.
Others are Chairman of Ogori/Magongo Local Government, Gabriel Dauda; Chairman of Okene Local Government, Yahaya Abubakar; Chairman, Yagba West Local Government, Stephen Ropo Asala; Chairman, Yagba East Local Government Council, Obaro Victor Kayode and Caretaker and Chairman of Adavi Local Government, Eneshi Jimoh Suleiman.
They were, however, admitted to bail each in various sums ranging from N20 million to N100 million with one surety each in like sum.
The trial judges who granted them bail also ordered yesterday that they must each produce one surety each who must be from the Federal Civil Service and not below the rank of a Deputy Director.
They said that each of the sureties must have landed property in Abuja with certificate of occupancy registered with the AEGIS and must depose to affidavit of means.
The judges also directed that each of the sureties must deposit their recent passport photographs with the court while the accused themselves must deposit their international passports and other travelling documents with the chief registrar of the court.
They also directed that the registrar must not okay any of the sureties until he has produced a letter from the principal counsel to each of the accused persons.
They ordered that the accused persons must meet each of the conditions apart from the bail bond to be signed by them. Of course, none of the accused persons could meet the stringent bail conditions yesterday.
Justice Adamu Bello who presided over the cases involving six persons yesterday ordered that the accused persons must be remanded in prison custody until all the conditions were met.
Justice David Okoronkwo who also presided over the case of three others also gave similar directive.