Friday, October 30, 2020

Nigeria: Ex-Chairman of electoral commission, Maurice Iwu yet to perfect bail conditions in money laundering case — Lawyer

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Mr. Ahmed Raji (SAN), Counsel to Prof. Maurice Iwu, former INEC chairman who was granted N1bn bail over alleged N1.2bn money laundering charge, on Thursday said that Iwu would soon perfect his bail conditions.

Raji told a News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that Iwu was still in custody.

He said though the bail conditions were stringent, it would be perfected.

NAN reports that Justice Chuka Obiozor of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, had, on Friday August 9, admitted Iwu to bail in the sum of N1bn, with two sureties in like sum.

Related: Nigeria: EFCC docks ex-Electoral Commission boss, Maurice Iwu in N1.2b money laundering case

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The former INEC chairman was granted bail after counsel to parties had argued on the bail application by the defendant/applicant and the counter affidavit by the prosecution.

In his submission, Iwu’s counsel, Raji, prayed the court for an order admitting the defendant to bail on self recognisance pending the hearing and determination of charge filed against him; or, in the alternative, an order of the court admitting the defendant on liberal terms.

In his submission, the prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application on the ground that the defendant would interfere or intimidate prosecution witnesses.

He, however, averred that if the court must grant the bail, the conditions attached should be stringent.

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In that ruling, Justice Obiozor admitted Iwu to bail N1bn.

The judge further ordered that the first surety must have a property registered in Lagos valued at N1bn and must be resident in Lagos.

Related: Nigeria: INEC Deputy Director Jailed for Six Years in Corruption Case

He also ordered that the surety must produce evidence of tax clearance, statement of his bank account, with passport photos of both the surety and defendant.

The judge further ordered that the second surety must be a civil servant on Grade Level 16, or a professor.

While ordering that the defendant be remanded in Ikoyi Prisons pending the perfection of his bail conditions, Justice Obiozor stressed that the defendant must not interfere with the witnesses during trial.

As a vacation judge, having presided over the arraignment and concluded with the ruling on bail application, he directed the court registrar to return the case file to the Administrative judge for reassignment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned Iwu on Thursday, August 8, on four counts of money laundering to the tune of N1.2bn.

He pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

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