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Federal Court Grants Ex-minister Abba Moro Unconditional Bail

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Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Abuja Federal High Court has granted unconditional bail to former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, March 3, 2016, granted bail on self recognition to the embattled ex-Interior Minister, Abba Moro, in a procurement fraud and money laundering suit brought against him and three others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Moro is being prosecuted alongside one-time permanent secretary in the ministry, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami, one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, a firm that was given the recruitment job, in the fatal Nigerian Immigration Service recruitment exercise in 2014.

They are alleged to have defrauded a total of 675,675 Nigerian job applicants to the tune of N675, 675,000 representing N1000 per applicant through e-payment for their online recruitment exercise into the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, on March 17, 2013, an exercise which was carried out in a negligent manner and led to the death of about 20 applicants in various recruitment centres across the country.

Moro and his co-accused persons had been held in prison custody since their arraignment on Monday, February 29, 2016.

After arguments and counter-arguments on the bail of the accused persons, the court adjourned to today for ruling.

In his ruling, Justice Chikere opined that, Moro is not likely to jump bail, escape or interfere with his trial.

Relying on Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Justice Chikere said, “the defendant (Moro) was a Minister of Interior, without gainsaying, a senior citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and a former public officer with no criminal record. As such, he is not likely to jump bail, escape or interfere with investigations. He will present himself at all court sessions to defend himself.”

On the other hand, the second and third defendants (Nwobia and Alayebami) were admitted to bail in the sum of N100million each with a surety each in like sum.

The sureties must be an officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in any State of the Federation at a directorate cadre. The sureties must have landed properties worth that amount in any part of the country. The title deeds of the properties are to be deposited along with two recent passport photographs of the sureties and the defendant applicants as well.

The judge also ordered that, the international passports of all the accused persons must be deposited with the court registrar, adding that the second defendant, who had hitherto been on administrative bail, would continue on same until the bail conditions are met.

The case has been adjourned to April 27, 2016 for trial.

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