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$40m ‘fraud’: Jonathan’s cousin and wife get N1b bail

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday granted bail to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Roberts Azibaola and his wife, Stella at N500 million and a surety each.

The couple and their company, One Plus Holding Limited, were arraigned  on a seven-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The couple allegedly diverted $40million purportedly meant for the supply of “tactical communication kits for Special Forces”.

The money was allegedly transferred from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the domiciliary account of their company, One Plus Holdings.

The offence is said to be in contravention of Section 8(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

Ruling on the couple’s bail application yesterday, Justice Dimgba noted that the intention of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 was for courts to grant bail without attaching  excessive conditions.

“All things considered, I grant the defendants bail on the following terms:

*The defendants are admitted to bail in the sum of N500 million each.

  • Two sureties in like sum which shall in turn enter a bail bond of the sum of N500 million.
  • The sureties must each be owners of property in Asokoro or Maitama District of Abuja.”

He held that the sureties must show evidence of payment of their income tax.

The judge ordered the defendants to be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of their bail conditions.

Justice Dimgba granted accelerated hearing of the case and adjourned till  June 28 for the commencement of trial.


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