Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam, who was charged with N2.8bn fraud got a breather, Tuesday, as he was granted bail to the sum of N20m.
A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday granted him the bail.
Economic and Financial Crime Commission had arraigned Abdulsalam, April 7 on 21 counts alongside six others.
But in a twist of fate, the accused were re-arraigned on Tuesday by the EFCC, following an amendment to the charge sheet, with two other accused persons added.
Upon their fresh arraignment on Tuesday, all the defendants pleaded not guilty following which the defence counsel, Mr. O. Akoni (SAN), urged the court to admit them to bail in liberal terms.
Justice Babs kwuemi admitted each of the accused persons to a N20m bail with one surety in like sum.
In the charge presented before the court by its prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, the EFCC accused Abdulsam and his alleged accomplices of fraudulently diverting various sums running into N2.8bn belonging to NAMA to their private use.
They were accused of inducing NAMA to deliver part of the money in several tranches to three companies – Delosa Ltd, Air Sea Delivery Ltd and Sea Schedules Systems Ltd – under the pretense that the money was the cost of clearing some consignments belonging to NAMA.
They were also accused of fraudulently converting part of the money, which the EFCC said was proceeds of theft from NAMA, to their private own.
The alleged fraud was said to have been perpetrated in Lagos between August 2013 and January 2016.
Oyedepo said the accused acted contrary to Section 8 (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and were liable to punishment under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
He said the accused also violated Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and were also liable to being punished under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Those initially charged along with Abdulsalam are Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Clara Aliche and Joy Adegorite and one Nnamdi Udoh, said to still be at large.
Bola Akinribido and Sesebor Abiodun were added Tuesday.