A Federal High Court sitting in Ilorin, Monday, granted N200 million bail to the immediate past Commissioner for Finance in Kwara State, Alhaji Ademola Banu. Banu is standing trial for allegedly laundering over N400 million. This came as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal, arrested 30 years old Festus Akinyemi Abiona, indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, over alleged internet fraud. The Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC had on January 29, 2020 arraigned Banu and one Olarewaju Adeniyi before Justice Babangana Ashigar’s court on a nine count charge over alleged money laundering.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Ashigar said the first and second defendants were admitted to bail in the sum of N200 million with one surety in like sum. According to him, “the surety is to have a landed property in Ilorin and must submit the certificate of occupancy (C of Os) to the registrar of this honourable Court which should be verified by the EFCC.” The judge ordered the accused persons to deposit their international passports, including other travel documents, and must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court pending the hearing and determination of the case. Justice Ashigar equally ordered the defendants to remain in the custody of the EFCC in Ilorin until they had perfect their bail conditions, and adjourned till February 24, 2020 for the commencement of trial. Meanwhile, EFCC in a statement issued by the spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, on the arrest of the FBI-wanted suspect, reads in part: “Abiona had been on the wanted list of the Commission for more than eight months over the alleged fraud case before luck ran against him and was finally arrested in his hideout. “’The anti-graft body was able to fish him out last week Wednesday, February 6, 2020 in his duplex in Arepo, Ogun State, despite the fact that he has refused to step out of his house since he got wind of the EFCC/FBI case for the past five months because of fear of arrest.”