Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Subsidy scam: Court remands Alao-Arisekola’s son in EFCC custody

A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, has ordered that Abdulahi Alao, son of the Ibadan business mogul, Alhaji Abdulazeez Arisekola-Alao, should remain at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody, pending the hearing of his bail application.
The court however granted bail to Opeyemi Ajuyah, who is facing charges along with Abdulahi Alao in the N1.1billion fuel subsidy fraud.
Alao and another co-defendant, Olanrewaju Olafusi, are however to remain in the custody of the EFCC pending the hearing of their bail application fixed for the 17th of October 2012.
Presiding judge, Justice Lateefat Okunnu granted Ajuyah bail in the sum of N75million with two sureties in like sum after hearing her application for bail.
The court was unable to hear the bail applications filed by Alao and Olafusi, as EFCC sought for time to file counter-affidavits to their applications.
The court had earlier fixed October 19th for the hearing of the applications after the accused pleaded not guilty to the eight count charge of fraud brought against them on the 10th of October but following an application for “abridgement of time” filed by the accused persons, the court had re-scheduled the hearing of the bail application for Monday.
Abdulahi Alao’s counsel, Mr. Babatunde Akoni, SAN, wondered why the EFCC had failed to respond to his client’s application even when all the accused persons filed and served their separate applications on the EFCC on the same day.
Justice Okunnu adjourned till October 17th, after a request by Akoni to grant a short adjournment by which time the EFCC is expected to have filed their opposition to their applications.
Ajuyah’s defence team, led by Femi Falana, SAN, had alleged that EFCC’s counter-affidavit to her bail application was speculative.
Ruling on her bail application, Okunnu said EFCC’s “assertion that she will jump bail is bereft of any evidence.”
“It is the duty of the prosecution to show that the defendant is not entitled to bail as she is presumed to be innocent,” Justice Okunnu declared.
The court ordered that her two proposed sureties must be gainfully employed and resident in Lagos.
Justice Okunnu held that one of the sureties must be a director of a public or private company.
She also said two of them must have landed property of “substantive value” within Lagos.
The judge ordered that the accused must submit her traveling passport to the EFCC and prohibited her from traveling abroad without the court’s permission.

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