Court Releases Oronsaye, Others From Custody | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Court Releases Oronsaye, Others From Custody

Posted: Jul 13, 2015 at 4:28 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo, Abuja

A FEDERAL High Court in Abuja on Monday July 13, 2015 granted former Head of Service of the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, and his three of his co-accused, release from custody pending the hearing of their bail application.

The court, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, made the order shortly after the accused persons were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 24 counts of ?money laundering and fraud charges and the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the said charges.

Justice Kolawole, who adjourned the hearing of the bail applications till July 21, ruled that the release granted to the accused persons would only take effect upon filing of written undertakings by defence lawyers, assuring that they would produce their clients in court at the next hearing date.

The judge based his decision to release the accused persons in the interim on the grounds that the EFCC had not indicated that the accused persons, particularly Oronsaye, had the tendency of absconding from trial.

He had also overruled the request by the EFCC prosecutor, Aliyu Yussuf, for the remand of the accused persons in prison.

The judge held that he could not force the accused persons on the EFCC whose counsel contended that there was no space to accommodate them in its custody, but under the principle of “interim judicial reprieve,” the court lacked the power to release the accused persons pending the hearing of the bail applications.


The court has fixed October 28, 29; November 3, 5 as well as December 5 for trial.


Details later…