Thursday, March 3, 2016 7:44 pm
Trial of former interior minister, Abba Moro and four others will begin on 27 April.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja set the trial date after admitting Moro to bail on self recognition.
The EFCC on Feb.29 arraigned Moro alongside a former Director in the ministry, F.O. Alayebami and former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, on an 11-count charge bordering on fraud.
They are being accused of unlawful acts in the N676 million immigration recruitment exercise.
In her ruling, Justice Chikere, held that the alleged offences were bailable.
“The court has evaluated the applications and it is convinced that admitting the applicants on bail would not in any way hurt the prosecution.
“In the light of this, Abbah Moro, who is the immediate past Minister of Interior, is admitted to bail on self-recognition.
“The two other defendants are, however, admitted to bail in the sum of N100 million each and one surety each in like sum,’’ she held.
The judge said that the sureties must be public servant not below the rank of a director.
She also held that they must present and surrender documents of a landed property in any part of the country with the court.
Chikere said the ex-minister and his co-defendants must deposit their travel documents with the court being part of constitutional requirements to merit the bail.
The judge adjourned the matter till April 27 for definite trial.
The defendants were alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.
EFCC also stated that the award of the contract to Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited had no prior advertisement.
The commission added that there was no budgetary provision for the exercise in the 2014 federal budget, hence forcing the applicants to bear the responsibility of funding the exercise.
The charge had stated that the action ran contrary to Section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission Act, 2000.