A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to Ali Bello, a nephew of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and three others charged with alleged N3 billion money laundering case.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Ali alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyada Sadat for money laundering.
ustice Obiora Egwuatu on Monday granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500m each with two sureties in like sum.
The judge ordered that the sureties must be resident in Abuja and have properties worth N500m each and evidence of tax payment for three years from 2020 to 2022.
The judge further ordered the defendants to deposit their passports with the court’s registrar, adding that they must not leave the country without the court’s permission.
The judge had earlier dismissed EFCC’s objection, through their counsel, Kabiru Hussaini, that the defendantss cannot be granted bail as they were a flight risk, adding that Ali had become influential and could influence the case.
But defence counsel, Ahmed Raji (SAN), asked the court to grant the bail because Ali had once travelled to Saudi Arabia on EFCC’s permission and returned to the country.
In the 18-count charges against the defendants, the EFCC alleged that they procured E-Traders International Ltd to retain the sum of N3 billion and to transfer the aggregate sum of $570,330 to account number: 4266644272 domiciled in TD Bank, USA the sum they “reasonably ought to have known forms part of proceeds of unlawful activity to wit, criminal misappropriation.
The offences are contrary to Section 15(2) of the Money Laundering and Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended.