The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has re-arraigned former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and Abubakar Aliyu for the second time on a seven-count charge, bordering on money laundering, bribery and abuse of office before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court.
The alleged crimes for which the defendants are being prosecuted have to do with the Oil Prospecting License, OPL 245, involving Shell and Eni.
Adoke was picked up at the airport upon his arrival from the United Arab Emirates on December 19, 2019, and was arraigned on a 42-count charge at the FCT High Court, Gwagwalada, presided over by Justice Kutigi.
In the new arraignment, prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, told the court that there was an amended charge of January 14, which was filed on January 15, and he thereafter applied that the charge be read to the defendants for their pleas to be taken.
The defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them and Sanga prayed the court to remand them in the custody of Nigeria Correctional Service pending the determination of their bail applications.
However, defence counsel, Mike Ozekhome, told the court that there was an application filed on February 4, and was duly served on the prosecution, which he said was supported by a six-paragraph affidavit, and 12 exhibits and a written address containing six grounds upon which the defendant should be granted bail and on liberal terms, which include self-recognition as a former Attorney-General of the Federation, noting also that the applicant was on bail, earlier granted him by Justice Kutigi of the FCT High Court.
Ozekhome argued that the first defendant has no criminal records and is currently ill and receiving medical attention in a government hospital close to the EFCC Head Office, Jabi.
The defence counsel further pleaded that the defendant be granted bail to attend to his hailing health or instead be remanded in the custody of the EFCC.
Justice Nyako granted the defendants bail on the same term and conditions granted them by Justice Kutigi, which the defendants fulfilled and regained their liberty.
She adjourned the matter till April 1 and 2, 2020.