A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to a former Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, and others with whom he was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of defrauding graduate applicants to the tune of N675m in the botched March 15, 2014 National Immigration Services recruitment exercise.
Justice Anwuli Chikere granted bail to Moro on self-recognition, but imposed on the two others, bail sum of N100m each with one surety in like sum.
All the accused persons including Moro are, however, to deposit their passports and other travel documents with the court registrar throughout the period of their trial.
The other accused persons, who were granted bail, are a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mrs. Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, and former director in the ministry, Mr. F.O Alayebami.
Moro, Daniel-Nwobia and Alayebami were on Monday arraigned along with the firm contracted to execute the recruitment exercise, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd.
The prosecution said one of the suspect, Mahmood Ahmadu, who was also involved in the alleged scam was on the run.
Shortly after they pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, Justice Chikere had remanded Moro and Alayebami in prison pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.
The judge had on the other hand, allowed Daniel-Nwobia to continue enjoying the administrative bail earlier granted to her by the EFCC.
The judge ordered again in her ruling on Thursday that the ex-permanent secretary should remain on the administrative bail until she was able to meet the new bail conditions imposed by the court.
Moro and Alayebami were, however, ordered to remain in prison until they would be able to meet the bail conditions imposed on Thursday.
The judge agreed with Moro’s counsel, Mr. Akinlolu Kehinde, that Moro, being a former minister, was a senior citizen, who could be granted bail in self recognisance.
But each of Daniel-Nwobia and Alayebami, were ordered to present as sureties each, an employee of the Federal Government or any statement government, not below the rank of a director, in addition to the N100m bail sum and other conditions.
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