Ex-works Minister Gets Bail

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Thirty-one days after he was first arraigned before a Federal High Court on an alleged money laundering charge, temporary reprieve finally came the way of embattled former Minister of Works, Dr. Hassan Lawal today as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja granted him and others standing trial with him bail.

 

They are facing trial over an alleged involvement in a N75.5 billion scam.

 

Justice Adamu Bello, who took over the case on Monday from Justice Bilikisu Aliyu over an allegation of bias, granted the former minister bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety in like sum.

 

The surety must be landed property owner who must deposit the title documents to the property to the Court Registrar for verification at the appropriate authority.

 

Both the would-be sureties and the accused persons are to deposit a copy each of their passport photographs.

 

Following the transfer of the case to Justice Adamu Bello last Monday, the accused persons filed a consolidated bail application praying the court to admit them to bail on liberal terms.

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Justice Bello also ordered the accused persons and their sureties to deposit their travel documents with the court registrar, stating that any of the accused persons who wishes to travel out of the court’s jurisdiction, even on health ground must do so with the permission of the court.

 

The court further ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody if the bail condition is not met and adjourned till 26 July for trial.

 

Others admitted to bail alongside Lawal are Adeogba Godwin Ademola, Dave Enejoh, Okala Philip Yakubu, Thahal Paul, George Elzogbi and Abbey Ayodele.

 

Lawal and other accused persons are being tried over charges bordering on awarding contracts to non-existing companies; award of contracts to companies without financial and infrastructure muscles to deliver; contract splitting, contract duplication to same companies and fraudulent crediting of personal account with government monies not earned.

 

—Nnamdi Felix