A Federal High Court, Abuja, has granted variation of bail to two Chinese and a Nigerian, who were arraigned on July 3 on allegations of criminal conspiracy, forgery and illegal transfer of funds to the tune of N2.5bn.
When the matter came up, Monday,the defendants through their counsel approached the court for the bail variation
Their counsel told the court of an application dated July 7, adding the court needed to vary the bail for the defendants to perfect their bail.
The defendants, Hao Aijun, Liu Yangxi and Obi Anthony Chibuzo were arraigned on a 15 count amended charge by the Inspector General of Police.
Counsel to the defendants said the application prayed the court to vary the bail condition from two sureties to one to enable them perfect their bail.
The prosecuting counsel did not object to the application.
In a short ruling, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba granted the prayer, “the bail condition is hereby varied from two to one surety”, he ruled.
Justice Dimgba said other conditions remain.
The court adjourned till October 21 for continuation of trial.
Justice Dimgba had granted the defendants bail on July 4 to the sum of N100m each with two sureties in like sum.
The court said the sureties who must be private or professional business persons or public servants must not be less than grade level 15 and must own landed property within Abuja metropolis.
They are also to deposit their international passports with the court and must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
He said he granted the bail because the defendants were already enjoying administrative bail by the police and were also available in court to face their trial.
He however ordered that the defendants would be remanded in prison if they fail to meet the bail conditions within 48 hours.
On the last adjourned date, the defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges when read to them and their lawyers Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), informed the court of an application for their bail filed on the 14 of June, 2017.
Part of the charge against them read: That you Hao Aijun ‘f’, Liu Yangxi ‘m’, Obi Anthony Chibuzo ‘m’ and others at large between July 2016 and August 2016 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, conspired among yourselves, to wit fraudulent conversion of the total sum of N971m (Nine hundred and seventy one million) naira a fund belonging to BN Ceramics Industry Nigeria Ltd which was domiciled in the Zenith Bank Plz account number 1013840111 a fund which you know or reasonably ought to know, forms part of proceeds of an Unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18 and punishable under section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended.