By Akin Kuponiyi
Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Lagos has granted Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law of former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar N20 million bail.
Oweibo also granted Atiku’s lawyer, Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, and third person N20 million bail each.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on Wednesday arraigned Babalele for allegedly laundering $140,000 in the build-up to the 2019 general elections.
Also, Uyiekpen Giwa-Osagie, said to be Atiku’s lawyer, was separately arraigned for allegedly laundering $2m, in connection with the polls.
Atiku contested against President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Both Babalele and Giwa-Osagie were arraigned before the Federal High Court in Lagos. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Oweibo had adjourned till today to take their bail applications.
However, ruling on the bail application on Thursday, Oweibo granted Babalele bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety who must be resident in Lagos and owner of a property within the jurisdiction of the court.
Babalele is also to deposit his international passport with the court.
The judge ordered that he should be remanded at the EFCC’s custody until he is able to perfect his bail conditions.
Also, Justice Oweibo granted Giwa-Osagie and a third person N20 million bail each with one surety each who must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court in Lagos.
They were also to deposit their international passports with the court.
The judge ordered that they should be released to their lawyers pending when they perfected their bail conditions.
Oweibo adjourned the case to October 8, 2019 for continuation of trial.
However, the charge against Giwa-Osagie:
”That you UYIEKPEN GlWA-OSAGIE and ERHUNSE GlWA-OSAGIE, sometimes in February, 2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired to commit an offence to wit: making cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution which sum exceeded the ‘ amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a), and 1(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
”That you UYIEKPEN GIWA-OSAGIE on or before the 12th day of February,2019 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured ERHUNSE GIWAOSAGIE to make cash payment of the sum of $2,000,000.00 (Two Million United State Dollars) without going through financial institution, which sum exceeded the amount authorized by Law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”