Doyin Okupe

A Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja has granted N100m bail to a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Doyin Okupe.

The presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the bail on Monday when Okupe was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations of fraud.

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A statement from the EFCC revealed that Okupe was charged with 59 counts bordering on “money laundering and criminal diversion of funds” to the tune of N702 million.

Okupe had, however, pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.

Following his plea, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Audu, asked the court for a date for the commencement of the trial.

On his part, counsel to the former presidential aide, Tolu Babaleiye, urged the court to admit his client to bail through a motion on notice dated December 17, 2018.

He said, “The defendant will in no way tamper with evidence since the proof of evidence is before the court that means investigation has been concluded.”

Babaleiye further urged the court to admit the defendant to bail on self-recognisance, adding that “he will not jump bail as he is well known”.

In his response to the application, Audu said, “The defendant was given administrative bail after he volunteered his statement, thereafter, he was nowhere to be found until December 2018 in Lagos”.

He added, “There was nothing substantial in the defendant’s affidavit. The court should exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously based on materials supplied before the court.”

After listening to all the arguments, Justice Ojukwu granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N100 million with one surety in like sum.

She said the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and must depose to an affidavit of means.

The trial judge also held that the surety must have landed properties which must also be within the jurisdiction of the court.

She asked the surety to submit to the court tax clearance papers from 2016 to 2018 and must have recent passport photographs.

Justice Ojukwu, thereafter, adjourned till February 27, 28 and March 6 for trial.