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Subsidy: Judge denies Ogunbambo bail

02 August 2012, 07:16

 Ikeja - An Ikeja High Court on Wednesday refused to grant bail to Oluwaseun Ogunbambo, one of the indicted oil marketers being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge, Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo, held that Ogunbambo be remained in Ikoyi Prison pending the commencement of his trial.

Ogunbambo was arraigned on July 30 with Habila Theck and Fargo Energy Limited on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence, forgery and use of false documents.

The counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, had told the court that on February 10, the defendants fraudulently obtained N980 million from the federal government.

Efforts to secure their bail had suffered a setback on the day of arraignment, as prosecution counsel craved more time to respond to the application.

Refusing the bail, Onigbanjo said that ordinarily he would not have objected to bail for the first defendant because it was a constitutional right and the offence was bailable.

He said that issues raised by the prosecution, who objected to his application, however, made him refuse the request.

"The issue of dual identity has cast a huge question on the defendant and therefore the bail application failed and is hereby refused," he said.

Onigbanjo granted bail to the second defendant, Theck, in the sum of N20 million with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said that one of the sureties must be a Grade Level 14 employee in the Federal Civil Service, verified by the Head of Service.

He said that the second surety must be employed in Lagos State, owned property valued at N100 million and must submit original the title of the property to  the court after verification by the Land Registry.

Ogunbambo's counsel, Mr Babajide Koku, urged the court to grant bail to the defendant on liberal terms, assuring that he would not jump bail or interfere with the trial.

Jacobs, however, opposed the bail application on three grounds, one of which was an allegation by Stanbic IBTC Bank that Ogunbambo allegedly collected loans to the tune of N230 million and N430 million respectively with forged documents.

He alleged that the defendant had since jumped bail.

Jacobs said his second ground of objection had to do with Ogunbambo's arrest at Dublin Airport with cash, which he had refused to declare to the authorities.

He said that the Ireland Embassy had already petitioned the EFCC over the matter and Ogunbambo’s two passports had been seized by the anti-graft agency.

The counsel alleged that the defendant had another passport with which he had been travelling, adding that Ogunbambo had multiple identities.

"Ogunbambo changes name as he like; his name is just a wearing apparel which he changes as he likes.

"This is a clear case from the past rulings by the court; the facts are unique and we have shown that the evidence against the accused are quite heavy and the charge a serious one."

Jacobs said that contrary to Ogunbambo’s claim that he never had a criminal case against him, the defendant had all along been jumping bail.

The prosecution, however, raised no objection to the bail application of the second defendant, Theck, saying he had lived up to his undertaking with the EFCC.

Onigbanjo adjourned the case to September 21 for further hearing.



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