Ex-Benue governor, Suswam, arraigned; granted N100m bail

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to a former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, but ordered he be held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, till he fulfils his bail conditions.

Mr. Suswam was arraigned on Tuesday before the court on allegation of corruption.

The former governor and his commissioner for finance, Omadaki Oklobia, are being charged by the EFCC.

The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the nine count charges of fraud and financial misappropriation levelled against him.
The charges border on Section 15(2, 3) of the Money Laundering Act (2011).

After the charges were read, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, stated that he did not object to the application for bail requested by the defence counsel, Ahmed Raji.

He however opposed Mr. Raji’s request that the bail be given on self-recognition and without conditions.
He said former governors jumped bail in the past.

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“It is common knowledge that Mr. Ibori jumped bail,” Mr. Jacobs said, referring to a former Delta State governor, James Ibori, who is serving jail term in the UK.

The court ruled that the first and second defendants be granted bail.

Justice Mohammed however gave the conditions of the bail to include a N100 million bond, two sureties who must be senior civil servants of level 12 and above, or any person occupying a national office.

He added that the international passports of the two accused be submitted to the court registrar.

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