A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday ordered that the immediate past Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, pending the perfection of his bail conditions after his arraignment.
The Street Journal reports that Suswam and his former Commissioner for Finance, Omadaki Okolobia, were arraigned before Justice Ahmed Mohammed on allegations bordering on corruption when he served as Benue State Governor between 2007 and 2015.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the nine count charges of fraud and financial misappropriation levelled against them.
Delivering ruling, Justice Mohammed granted bail to Suswam and his alleged accomplice, but ordered that the defendants be held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, till they fulfill their bail conditions.
The Judge gave the conditions of the bail to include a N100 million bond, two sureties, who must be senior civil servants of level 12 and above, or any person occupying a national office, and also ordered that the international passports of the two accused be submitted to the court registrar.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)had preferred the nine-count chargeagainst the defendants for allegedly conspiring and diverting N3.1 billion belonging to Benue State.
Their offences, according to the anti-graft agency, contravene the provisions of Section 15(2, 3) of the Money Laundering Act (2011).
Following their not guilty plea after the charges were read to them, their counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, had requested that the defendants be granted bail on self-recognition devoid of any conditions.
This was, however, objected to by the prosecution counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, who instead, supported the granting of conditional bail to the defendants.