Court grants bail to ex-chairman NSITF, Ngozi Olejeme

Court admits ex-chairman NSITF, Ngozi Olejeme to bail

Court admits ex-chairman NSITF, Ngozi Olejeme to bail

An FCT High Court sitting in Jabi on Friday admitted the former board chairman of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Ngozi Olejeme, to bail.

The court in addition adjourned the matter until Nov.8 for a hearing.

The court adopted the administrative bail conditions already granted the defendant by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC).

The conditions stated that the defendant provided two assistant directors in government establishments as sureties.

The judge, Justice Maryam Hassan in addition to the ruling directed that the travel documents of the defendant be submitted at the court’s registry.

The court had on Thursday ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC’s custody pending Friday’s ruling on the bail application as brought by the defendant’s counsel, Paul Erokoro, SAN.

Olejeme is charged with criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds and money laundering.

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The offense was allegedly committed between 2012 and 2015 when she was the board chairman of the NSITF.

The nine-count charge bordering on mismanagement, giving a false statement, taking a kickback from contracts, and diversion of NSITF funds into personal accounts and companies she had an interest in, formed the basis for the defendant’s arraignment.

One of the charges alleged that the funds were diverted through the award of suspicious contracts to proxy companies.

The offense, the anti-graft agency said, contravened the provisions of sections 8,19 (1) (b) (1), punishable under the Corrupt Practice & other Related Offence Act 2000 and Section 17, (1) (2), 39 of EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 and punishable under the same section.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against her.

With the defendant pleading not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Steve Odiase prayed for a date for hearing to enable the prosecution to prove her case against the defendant.

Erokoro on his part then moved the bail application for his client.