N10bn fraud: Court grants ex-Kwara gov N50m bail

20240224 081803

A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, has given a N50m bail condition for the embattled former governor of the state, Abdulfatah Ahmed, after he pleaded not guilty to 12 counts bordering on alleged mismanagement of public funds to the tune of N10bn.

The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Ahmed before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court in Ilorin on Friday.

The immediate past governor of Kwara State has been in the custody of the EFCC after being initially invited for questioning on Monday.

Among the charges against the former governor is the use of N1,610,730,500.00 meant for the security and running cost of the Government of Kwara State, in chartering private jets for local travels, on different occasions through Travel Messengers Limited, while he was governor between 2015-2019.

Another charge against the governor was the conversion of the sum of N411m meant for the provision of security in the state between January and December 2018.

Also named as second defendant, was former Kwara state Commissioner of Finance, Ademola Banu, who, in a statement by EFCC Director of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, is facing a 10-count charge “also bordering on mismanagement of public funds while he served under Ahmed’s administration as commissioner for finance”.

According to the statement, when the matter was called,  EFCC’s lead counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, informed the court that Banu jumped an administrative bail granted him by the EFCC and efforts to arrest him had proved abortive.

He urged the court to rely on Section 83 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, to issue a summons against his surety, Salami Bashiru Ola and/or a warrant of arrest against the second defendant (Banu).

The defence led by Kehinde Eleja, SAN, did not put any defence in favour of the second defendant, as he said that his appearance was for the first defendant. In a short ruling, Justice Anyadike issued a bench warrant against Banu.

“After listening to the arguments and counter-arguments of both counsels, Justice Anyadike admitted the first defendant to bail in the sum of N50m, with two sureties in like sum.

“According to the judge, the sureties must deposit their passports with the court’s registrar. One of the sureties must have a landed property in Ilorin with the title documents of the property deposited with the Registrar of the Federal High Court,” the EFCC state read in part.

Justice Anyadike thereafter ordered the defendant to be remanded in EFCC custody pending the perfection of his bail terms, while the case was adjourned to April 29th and 30th, 2024 for the commencement of trial.

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