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P&ID: EFCC asks court to reject Briton’s plea for bail variation

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday urged the Federal High Court, Abuja, not to grant the bail variation application filed by a British national, James Nolan.

The EFCC Counsel, Bala Sanga, who made the request, told Justice Okon Abang that the Commission would file a counter-affidavit on the matter.

Sanga said Nolan’s counsel, Chris Ezugwu,  served on him the further affidavit, seeking the court’s leave to grant their request, on Wednesday.

He said: “I apply for a shift in the date to take our arguments, My Lord, in order to enable us to file a counter-affidavit in response to further affidavit served on us less than 24 hours before the court sitting.

“We were served about 2:00 p.m. yesterday (Wednesday).”

The prosecution counsel, therefore, prayed the court to give him some days to file his counter-affidavit on Nolan’s request.

The defendant’s counsel who acknowledged serving the fresh application on Sanga the previous day objected to the EFCC’s plea for adjournment.

Justice Abang, thereafter, adjourned proceeding till December 6 for further hearing of the application.

He said the move was necessary for the interest of justice.

Justice Abang said: “I think it is in the interest of justice to adjourn this matter to enable the prosecution to respond to further affidavit serve on them by the defendant’s counsel.”

Shortly after the court sitting, Sanga told journalists that the Commission was against Nolan’s plea for bail variation because of the peculiar circumstances of the case.

“We are opposed to the court making the conditions of bail lighter because there are some documents from Nigeria Immigration Service that are indicative of the fact that Nolan committed immigration quota trafficking and possibly could be illegal alien,” he stated.

The EFCC’s lawyer stressed Nolan might jump bail if the request is granted.

Justice Abang had on November 7 granted the Briton bail in the sum of N500 million.

The judge also ordered the applicant to produce a surety in like sum, who must be a Nigerian and a serving senator not standing any criminal trial in any court in Nigeria. (NAN)



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