Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court yesterday ordered the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to review the bail conditions of the suspended Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr. Ekoi Obono-Obla.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who issued the preservative order warned that failure to comply with the order, the ICPC would be summoned to show cause why the applicant would not be released from it’s custody.
Obono-Obla who is currently in the custody of the Commission was arrested five months after he was declared wanted in October last year by the ICPC.
Spokesperson of the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, had disclosed that Obono-Obla was arrested in Abuja on Friday March 20, along Aso Drive, opposite the Millennium Park. His arrest and detention are in connection with ongoing investigation into allegations of abuse of office, certificate forgery and fraud amongst others.
Justice Mohammed made the order after listening to an expatre application by counsel to Obono-Obla, F. Baba Isa who prayed the court for the release of his client from the custody of the anti- graft Commission, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
He told the court that although the Commission had granted his client an administrative bail, it has attached stringent conditions which cannot be met in view of the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the conditions attached to his administrative bail include two sureties in the rank of a Permanent Secretary and a Director who are in the employment of the Federal government on grade level 17 and above.
The sureties must have landed property situated at Maitama, Guzape or Asokoro with original Certificate of Occupancy verified from the appropriate land agency. In addition, the administrative bail which comes with a N10m bond required the sureties to produce letters of appointment, letters of last promotion, identity cards and a passport photograph. They are also to produce introduction letters from their superior officers in their offices.
But Isa told the court that his client is unable to fulfill the above conditions which he described as stringent.