In opposition, the prosecutor informed the court of a counter-affidavit in opposition to bail that, although bail was a constitutional right, there were limitations
Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday granted bail in the sum of N50 million to the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, standing trial on charges bordering on alleged N6.9 billion election campaign fraud. Delivering judgement on the bail application filed by Fayose on Wednesday, Olatoregun noted that the allegations filed by prosecution in its counter-affidavit against bail application were grave, but that the accused would be given the benefit of the doubt.
“The defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million, with one surety in like sum, and the surety is to present a bond of N50 million from a reputable insurance company or a first line bank, which is acceptable by the court.
“Besides, the surety must provide evidence of three years’ tax clearance, while the accused must ensure he attends court for trial unfailingly. Otherwise, the bond will be forfeited, and the international passport of the accused should be deposited in the court’s registry,” the court ruled.
The judge fixed November 19 for commencement of trial.
Fayose was docked on October 22 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside his company, Spotless Investment Limited, on 11 counts bordering on alleged graft. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On Wednesday, defence counsel, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, moved a motion for bail of the accused. He told the court that the application was dated October 22 and brought pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the court. According to him, there was a presumption of innocence of an accused until guilt was established, adding that the ex-governor was very eager to see the conclusion of the charges before the court and so, would not jump bail.
He told the court that Fayose willfully submitted himself to the EFCC, immediately after leaving office as governor, which showed his readiness to face the charge.
In opposition, the prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, informed the court of a counter-affidavit in opposition to bail. He told the court that, although bail was a constitutional right, there were limitations.
He expressed concerns that intelligence reports revealed that the accused would interfere with witnesses and proceedings, and may jump bail, if granted. He urged the court to refuse bail on his arguments.
However, in a short ruling, Olatoregun granted the bail application.