The Federal High Court in Abuja Monday granted bail to former Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue and two others who were arraigned on a fresh charge of money laundering.
Suswam was arraigned alongside his Commissioner of Finance, Omadachi Oklobia, and the then Accountant of the Government House, Janet Aluga.
The defendants were accused of diverting the sum of N9.79 billion, part of which was meant for Police Reform Programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the 32-count charge of fraud, money laundering and financial misappropriation levelled against them.
Gabriel Suswam’s bail
After the charges were read, counsel to Suswam and Oklobia, Tawo Tawo (SAN), applied for their bail, stating that the defendants were granted bail when arraigned by the EFCC on corruption charges before Justice Ahmed Mohammed.
He added that the defendants did not jump the bail granted to them and have been attending the trial.
The prosecuting counsel, Aminu Alilu, who did not object to the application for bail, asked the court to use its discretion.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Gabriel Kolawole granted each defendant bail in the sum of N250 million.
Justice Kolawole also ordered that the defendants shall surrender their international or diplomatic passports to the Deputy Registrar Litigation.
He then adjourned the matter to Oct. 10, for the commencement of trial.
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