The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on Thursday, arraigned the former Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Gwagwalada, The ex-minister was arraigned on a 42-count charge of corruption.
Adoke, who is standing trial over his alleged role in the “fraudulent” transfer of ownership of Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 245, was arraigned alongside six others – Aliyu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Company Limited.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and begged the court through their respective lawyers, to release them on bail pending the determination of the case against them.
EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Bala Sanga, had shortly after the defendants entered their plea, applied for all them to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre pending hearing of their separate bail applications.
Sanga told the court that he would need about five days to file counter-affidavits to oppose the defendants’ bail motions. However, counsel to all the defendants led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and Mahmud Magaji (SAN), prayed the court to rather allow their clients to remain in the EFCC custody.
Justice Abubakar Kutigi stood down the proceeding for five minutes to enable the parties to reach a truce. When the court resumed sitting at 4:30 p.m., Chief Olanipekun said all the parties agreed to return to the court on Monday to argue the bail applications. EFCC’s lawyer also corroborated Olanipekun’s submission, adding that it was agreed that the defendants should remain in custody of the Commission. Consequently, Justice Kutigi adjourned the case till Monday.
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