*Court Fixes June 11 To Hear Bail Applications
Supporters and family members of the six CBN officials standing trial for N8bn fraud stormed the Adeoyo, Federal High Court, Ibadan, capital of Oyo State on Monday, forming a prayer warrior group for the accused freedom.
It almost resulted in a free for all when a legal practitioner who begged for anonymity murmured…”it’s not all prayers that God answers”. One of the supporters of the accused who was standing close by became furious, leading to a heated argument between the two.
It took the timely intervention of men of the Department of State Security service DSS who wasted no time before they dispersed the milling crowd outside the premises of the court. The incident occurred as the accused, who had deliberately delayed their leaving the court room for over 35 minutes after the case had been adjourned just to avoid the prey eye of photo journalists outside the court, were being brought out and helped into the rickety van of the Nigeria Prison Service, Agodi, Ibadan. The accused covered their faces as they were being shielded from the lenses of journalists.
The Federal High Court, however, fixed June 11 for hearing the bail applications of 11 bank officials allegedly involved in the N8 billion CBN currency scam. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Kolawole Babalola, Adeola Olaniran and Togun Phillips, dismissed employees of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and others on June 3.
Joined also in the suit are five First Bank officials – Isiaq Akao, Ayodele Adeyemi, Oyebamiji Akeem, Ayodeji Alese and Ajiwe Adegoke. Others are Oni Dolapo, Afolabi Olunike (Mrs) and Ademola Adewale, who are employees of Wema Bank Plc.Justice Adeyinka Faji adjourned the two suits involving three CBN employees and eight members of staff of commercial banks, following the inability of the defence and prosecution to agree on processes filed, served and received.
He directed counsel to the parties to regularise their processes and thereafter, ordered the continued remand of the accused at the Agodi Prisons in Ibadan. While Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the EFCC counsel, claimed to have replied all processes served on him on June 5, some of the defence counsel said they had not received such. A number of the defence counsel also told the court that the time was insufficient to respond to the counter affidavit served on them by the prosecution.
A defence counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, told the court that his reply to the counter affidavit was yet to be filed. Jacobs, therefore, moved for an adjournment to give room for parties to regularise the filing of all necessary papers. All the parties involved consented to the motion for adjournment, subject to the court’s convenience.
Justice Faji consequently ruled that the matter be adjourned to June 11 and ordered the continued remand of the 11 suspects in prison custody. EFCC charged the accused with putting back in circulation mutilated currency notes meant to be destroyed and thereby contributed to the economic adversity of the country.