Alleged $6bn Fraud: Court Begins Trial of Ex-minister Agunloye

Jan 12, 2024 | Uncategorized


  • Former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Olu Agunloye, is facing trial for an alleged $6 billion fraud.
  • The ex-minister was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in December 2023.
  • He was granted bail of N50 million at his trial, requiring two reputable individuals residing in Abuja to act as sureties with an equivalent sum.

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja – Emerging reports have confirmed that the FCT high court, Apo, Abuja, has commenced the trial of a former Minister of Power and Steel Development, Olu Agunloye.

This development was confirmed in a statement released by the EFCC on Friday, January 12, and Justice J. O. Onwuegbuzie would preside over the trial.

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Mr Agunloye was brought before the court on Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to the charges read against him.
The EFCC in December 2023, declared Agunloye wanted on an alleged case of forgery and corruption. Photo Credit: EFCC
Source: Twitter

Agunloye is facing trial from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on seven charges related to the fraudulent award of contracts and official corruption, amounting to $6 billion.

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These charges violate Section 22(4) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000.

During the court session held on Thursday, January 11, 2023, which aimed to determine Agunloye’s bail application presented by his counsel, Adeola Adedipe, SAN, the prosecution, represented by Abba Muhammed, he strongly objected.

Muhammed based his objection on two conflicting counter-affidavits submitted in response to the bail application.

He said:

“We are objecting to the general application by the defendant in an affidavit made on January 8, 2024, consisting of 76 paragraphs. The deposition was made by Umar Hussain Babangida.

“We also filed a further counter-affidavit, dated January 10, 2024, consisting of 25 paragraphs, deposed by Umar Hussain Babangida, annexed with the same exhibits.

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“We rely on all the exhibits and depositions on the counter-affidavit on the defendant’s application for bail and we also adopt the written address.”

However, the defence attorney requested the court to release the accused on lenient bail terms, citing the defendant’s existing health condition.

Court grants Agunloye N50 bail

In response, Justice Onwuegbuzie approved bail for Agunloye in the amount of N50 million, requiring two reputable individuals residing in the Federal Capital Territory to act as sureties with an equivalent sum.

These sureties must provide copies of their identity cards and international passports to the court registrar.

Additionally, they must submit affidavits of means and commit to ensuring the defendant’s presence in court throughout the case.

The judge also stipulated that the sureties must demonstrate ownership of property (Certificate of Occupancy) valued at N300 million within Maitama, Abuja.

Furthermore, Agunloye must surrender his travel documents to the court registrar, refrain from leaving the country without the court’s permission, and undergo verification of his residential address by the court.

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EFCC to revisit Tinubu minister’s case

Meanwhile, the EFCC said it will revisit the the alleged N70 billion fraud case against the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle.

The EFCC’s acting Director of Public Affairs, Wilson Uwajuren, said the anti-graft agency will not sweep any corruption case under the law.

Uwajeren said the EFCC would proceed with the matter if they could establish the wrongs against Matawalle.

Source: Legit.ng





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