FORMER Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose was on Wednesday granted N50 million bail by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Ikoyi Lagos.
As part of his bail conditions, Fayose was asked to deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court.
He was also asked to sign an undertaking pledging that he will not tamper with the trial.
Tribune Online recalls that Fayose was arraigned on October 22 by The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alongside a company Spotless Investment Ltd, on 11 counts bordering on the offence.
Fayose had pleaded not guilty to the charges, while the court had adjourned the case for hearing of his bail application.
At Wednesday’s, proceedings, Fayose’s counsel, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN) a former Attorney General of the Federation, moved a motion for bail of the accused before the court.
He told the court that the application was dated Oct 22 and brought pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
According to him, there is a presumption of innocence of an accused until guilt is established, adding that the ex-governor is very eager to see the conclusion of the charges before the court and so, will not jump bail.
He told the court that Fayose willfully submitted himself to the EFCC, immediately after leaving office as Governor, which shows his readiness to face the charge.
He urged the court to grant bail to the accused on self-recognisance as a former governor.
Opposing to the bail application, the EFCC prosecutor Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN, informed the court of a counter affidavit in opposition to bail. he told the court that although bail is a constitutional right there were limitations.
“The issue of presumption of innocence has to do with trial and for now, no one is saying he is guilty,” he said.
According to him, the prosecution is also eager for an accelerated hearing of the case and urged the court to order an accelerated trial.
Jacobs also opposed the application for bail on self-recognisance, on the grounds that being a former Governor is not a yardstick for granting bail, as it does not guarantee the attendance of the accused in court.
He expressed concerns that intelligence reports reveal that the accused will interfere with witnesses and proceedings, and may jump bail if granted.
In a short ruling, Justice Mojisola Olatoregun noted that the allegations proffered by the prosecution in its counter affidavit were grave, but that the accused would be given a benefit of doubt.
“The defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum,”.
She added that the surety is to present a bond of N50 million from a reputable insurance company or a first line bank which is acceptable by the court.
The judge held that there must also be the production of three years tax clearance, while the accused must ensure he attends court for trial unfailingly, otherwise, the bond will be forfeited.
The court ordered that the international passport of the accused should be deposited in the court’s registry.
She adjourned the case until Nov. 19 for trial.
According to EFCC’s charge against Fayose, he was said to have taken possession of the sum of N1.2 billion, for purposes of funding his gubernatorial election campaign in Ekiti State, which sum he reasonably ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have received a cash payment of the sum of five million dollars, (about N1.8 billion) from the then Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, without going through any financial institution and which sum exceeded the amount allowed by law.
He was also alleged to have retained the sum of N300 million in his Zenith Bank account and took control of the aggregate sums of about N622 million which sum he ought to have known formed part of crime proceeds.
Fayose was alleged to have procured De Privateer Ltd and Still Earth Ltd, to retain in their Zenith and FCMB accounts, the aggregate sums of N851 million.
He was alleged to have used the aggregate sums of about N1.6 billion to acquire properties in Lagos and Abuja, The former Governor was also alleged to have used the sum of N200 million, to acquire a property in Abuja, in the name of his elder sister Moji Oladeji, which sum he ought to know also forms crime proceeds.