A Federal High Court sitting in Benin has remanded former PDP governorship candidate in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo, Chief Dan Orbih, former Deputy Governor, Mr, Lucky Imasuen, a former member of the House of Representatives, Tony Azegbemi and Efe Anthony in prison.
The court had on Thursday granted the Orbih and Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the 2016 governorship candidate, bail in the sum of N10 million for alleged N700 million fraud.
They are to remain in custody pending when they meet their applications for bail.
Ize-Iyamu and others were arraigned on Thursday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on eight count charges of laundering the sum of N700 million.
Justice P. Adjokwu ordered the defendants to produce a surety each in like sum.
The judge ordered that the sureties, who must not be below salary grade level 16, must also be house owners, with Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) that should be deposited with the court’s deputy registrar.
The judge said the offence contravened Section 15(2)(d)of the Money Laundering (Prohibited) Act 2011(as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) punishable under section 15(3) of same Act.
The money was part of the $115 million that Diezani pilfered from the treasury.
In view of their plea, the prosecution counsel, Aso Larry Peters asked the court to fix a date for trial and to remand the defendants in prison custody .
However, counsel to the 1st defendant, Charles. U. Edosuwan (SAN) informed the court that the first defendant has filed a bail application before the court.
He pleaded with the court to grant his client bail on self recognition, adding that his client submitted himself voluntary to the Commission when he heard they wanted to see him.
The same argument was canvassed by Counsels to the second , third ,fourth and fifth defendants, O.G. Izevbuwa(Dr) , Kehinde Oguwunmiju (SAN) Ferdinard O.Orbih (SAN) Jim Akhere( Professor) asking the court to grant their client bail. They all align their submission with that of counsel to the first defendant in asking the court to grant their client bail.
The prosecution counsel vehemently opposed the bail application saying he had filed a 12 paragraph counter affividavit motion.
The prosecution counsel, however, argued that though bail is at the discretion of the court, if the court must grant them bail, it should come with a stringent conditions, considering the amount involved and that they should have their data captured in the criminal record registry.
Justice P.I.Ajoko after listening all counsels submission granted bail to the defendants in the sum of 10 million naira each with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must not be below grade level 16 and be resident in Edo State.
The sureties must have a landed property in Edo State and must depost their passport with the court which will be verify by both the court and the EFCC.
Adjokwu, who rejected the plea by defendants’ counsel, Mr Charles Edosomwan, ordered them to be remanded in prison until they met the bail conditions.
The Judge adjourned the case till July 4.