The Justice of the Federal High Court in Enugu, Dugbo Oghoghorie, on Tuesday, granted N1 million bail to Hillary Obetta, who is charged with N4 million fraud.
He is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The judge, however, ordered that Mr Obetta should be kept in the prison custody until he was able to fulfil the bail condition.
“Bail is hereby granted. However, the defendant must be remanded in custodial centre until his bail condition is perfected.
“The bail condition includes deposit of N1 million to the court and provision of two sureties – one must be his brother, the other, a civil servant on or above grade level 14, whose appointment letter and other workplace evidence should be verified by the court bailiff,” the judge held.
Mr Obetta pleaded not guilty to a four-count charge of collecting N3 million and N1 million by false pretence of supplying 5,000 copies of conductor’s/driver’s badges and emblems.
He was also charged with the presentation of a forged letter of engagement and “To Whom It May Concern” letter, with the letterhead of the Enugu State Ministry of Transport.
Counsel to the defendant, Victor Ozioko, prayed the court to grant him bail.
Mr Ozioko told the court he had just been briefed about the matter and needed time to prepare for defence.
“Again, my client is sick; he is a known hypertensive person,” the lawyer told the court.
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Counsel to the EFCC, Michael Ani, said he had perfected written addresses and brought some witnesses to the court, to get an accelerated hearing.
Mr Ani said the EFCC was not opposed to bail for the defendant but urged that the condition must be stringent to compel him to appear in court when needed.
“His sureties must be known and their status verified by the court,” he said.
The case was adjourned to March 30 for accelerated hearing.