A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama Abuja has granted N1.5billion bail to a former Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Benjamin Ezra Dikki and his company, Kebna Studios &Communications Limited.
The Court said the sureties for the former DG should be ready to pay the bail cash if he jumps bail.
The trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, also asked Dikki to submit his travel documents to the Court Registrar.
Dikki and his company were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly receiving about N1billion as gratification from Bestworth Insurance Brokers for his role in facilitating the approval of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN).
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the judge ordered Dikki not to travel outside Nigeria without clearance from the court.
The statement said: “Arguing the bail application, counsel for the first defendant, Abdul Muhammed, urged the court to admit his client to bail as the alleged offence is bailable.”
He said the “applicant is willing and ready to defend the charges in this matter.
“However, the prosecution counsel, Diane N Nkwap opposed the application.
“Relying on a sworn counter- affidavit by one Ufoma Ezira, a staff of the Commission, she told the court that the defendant could evade trial given the weight of the evidence and the gravity of the offence, which attracts jail term of five years without an option of fine.”
Justice Halilu, however, granted bail to the first defendant, who is expected to “provide two sureties, who must be reputable Nigerian residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
The judge asked the sureties to “produce evidence of their residency with title documents of their houses, which must be in Wuse, Garki, Asokoro or Maitama, with the Registrar of this Court.”
He also ruled “both sureties shall equally make an undertaken to pay into the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria an amount totaling N1billion and N500 million each, in the event that the first accused person (ex-DG) jumps bail.”
Other conditions are the first defendant shall “produce his travel documents to the Court Registrar and undertake not to travel outside Nigeria without clearance from the Court.
Justice Halilu adjourned the matter till April 15, 2021 for trial.
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