By Edith Nwapi
An FCT High Court in Maitama Abuja on Wednesday admitted former Imo governor, Ikedioha Ohakim to bail in the sum of N10 million.
The Inspector-General of Police charged Ohakim with three counts, accusing him of giving false information to the police.
Ohakim was accused by the police for using the name of Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians.
He was also accused of lying that Lady Chinyere Lilian Amuchienwa threatened him with a gun, after collecting N100million from for a plot of land in Lagos that does not exist.
(Read the full charge: IGP files charge against Ohakim
Justice Samira Bature of the FCT High Court held that granting bail, was at the discretion of the court.
“The defendant is hereby admitted to bail in the sum of N10million with one surety in like sum.
” The surety, shall be a reputable person in the society with fixed address in the court’s jurisdiction” she held.
”The former governor is, however, directed not to interfere with the prosecution or its witnesses, failure of which his bail will be revoked,” she held.
She adjourned the matter until 25 January 2021.
Earlier, Ohakim’s counsel, K.C.O Njemanze, SAN, moved a motion on notice seeking the bail of the defendant.
Njemanze said the application was brought pursuant to Sections 158 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 and Section 35 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said the offence the former governor was charged with is bailable.
Njemanze assured the court that the defendant was ready to produce reasonable sureties if the court is not minded to grant his bail in self recognisance as a former governor of one of the states.
The prosecution counsel, Stanley Nwodo, however, opposed the bail application, saying that the former governor has dishonoured several police invitations.
He said there were several warrants of arrest against the defendant.
He however, submitted that though the charge against Ohakim is bailable, the bail is not absolute.
He added that it was the duty of the prosecution to guide the court in granting bail.
He told the court that the defendant has the capacity to interfere with the course of justice.
“The prosecution is concerned about the antecedent of the defendant” he said.
He, therefore, urged the court to handle the bail application with caution.