Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele of a Benin High Court on Monday granted N500,000 bail each to five members of Edo Welders Association, docked over alleged N15 million fraud.

The defendants, all former executive members of the association are: Isaac Ogundumi, Monday Ewemade, John Odalo, Andrew Egharewan and Omorogbe Jacob.

Ovbiagele also ordered the defendants to produce a surety each in like sum.

The judge ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, reside within Benin metropolis and must deposed to an affidavit of means as part of the bail condition.

Ovbiagele adjourned the case until October 27 for hearing.

The defendants are facing alleged N15 million fraud charge.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had on October 9, arraigned the defendants before Justice Ovbiagele for allegedly stealing the association’s money.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants, while acting as executive members of the association, between 2002 to 2016 converted the association’s money to their personal use.

They all pleaded not guilty to the 15-count charge, while the judge ordered their remand in Oko Prisons and adjourned the case until Oct. 11 for hearing of the bail application.

But on Oct. 11, the defendants were not brought to court, but their counsel, Mr Uyi Okungbowa, urged the court to use its discretion to grant them bail.

But EFCC’s counsel, Mr Moses Arumemi, however, opposed the bail application and said the offences, committed between January 2016 to December 2016, contravened Sections 383(1)(a), 465,and 468 of the Criminal Code, CAP 4 8, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria, as applicable to Edo.
The charges border on conspiracy, stealing by conversion and forgery.



17 October, 2017


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