BY OLA AJAYI & DAUD OLATUNJI
IBADAN-FORMER Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State and two of his aides standing trial in an Ibadan High Court over allegations of financial impropriety by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have been granted bail.
They were arraigned on an 11-count charge by the anti graft commission. Two other persons docked for alleged misappropriation of funds are a Senator representing Oyo North in the National Assembly, Senator Hosea Agboola and a businessman, Mr. Femi Babalola.
However, there are strong indications the bail application by the embattled former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, who is facing a-16 count charge for alleged corruption, may not be heard due to the ongoing industrial action by public workers in the state over the new tax regime introduced by the state government.
Akala 2 others on bail
In Ibadan, all the accused persons had pleaded not guilty to all the charges on Tuesday and after the trial judge, Justice Moshood Abbas listened to the arguments of counsel to both parties, he granted Akala bail in the sum of N500 million and two sureties in the like sum and the surety must produce evidence of ownership of land at the Government Reservation Area, Ibadan while the other two were granted N300 million each with three sureties.
The court ruled that Agboola’s surety must depose to a landed property in the GRA and an affidavit of means.
As for Babalola, besides the sum of N300 million, he was asked to produce two sureties with landed property in GRA and the deposition of an affidavit of means.
Explaining why the accused persons were granted bail, the judge said that the purpose of a bail is to ensure that the accused persons make themselves available for trial.
He said the charges against the accused persons are bailable in nature because the maximum punishment for the offences is seven years imprisonment.
Justice Abbas said because the accused persons had been to the anti-graft commission several times, he was convinced that they would not jump bail.
According to him, since the accused persons voluntarily surrendered to the EFCC for arrest, interrogation and detention, they deserved the bail.
To the judge, nothing in the counter affidavit deposed to by the anti-graft agency indicated that the accused persons could be on the run adding that Agboola and Babalola had gone to the EFCC interrogators seven times between 2009 and the time of their arraignment.
After the ruling, hundreds of supporters of Akala armed with placards with various inscriptions burst into songs and played trumpets.
Daniel’s bail doubtful
There are strong indications the bail application by the embattled former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel, who is facing a-16 count charge for alleged corruption, may not be heard due to the ongoing industrial action by public workers in the state over the new tax regime introduced by the state government.
The State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has been at loggerheads with the state government, over what organised labour described as inhuman treatment meted on public servants in the state through the introduction of new tax regime and other alleged illegal deductions.