By Imelda Osayande
Mrs Aisosa Amadasun, the Edo Women Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), and four others standing trial for alleged fraud, have been granted bail by the Benin High Court.
They were granted bail in the sum of N1 million bail each by Justice Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, the presiding judge.
The other defendants are Adama Osabuohien, Prince Stephen Alao, Dove Momodu and Mallam Ali Sulayman.
The court also ordered the defendants to produce a surety each in like sum and adjourned the case until Oct 26 and Oct. 27 for hearing
The judge ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, reside within Benin metropolis and must deposed to an affidavit of means as part of the bail condition.
The defendants, all former board members of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), are facing alleged N1.5 billion fraud charge.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Oct. 5, arraigned the defendants before Justice Ovbiagele for allegedly using their offices while serving as board members of SUBEB, to award contracts to their cronies after collecting money from them.
They all pleaded not guilty to the 50-count charge, while the judge ordered their remand in Oko Prisons and adjourned the case until Oct. 9 for hearing of the bail application.
On Oct. 9, the defendants were not brought to court, but their counsel, Mr Candy Ohio, urged the court to grant them bail, and argued that they were charged on matters bordering on criminal offences.
Ohio pleaded with the court to use its discretion to grant the defendants bail.
He submitted that the charge was a bailable offence, and argued that granting the defendants bail would not in any way jeopardise the trial of the defendants.
But EFCC’s counsel, Mr Harrison Ibekwute, however, opposed the bail application and said the offences contravened Sections 98b (1) (a) (II) of the Criminal Code, CAP. 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria, as applicable to Edo.(NAN)