Lagos - The trial of a former Head of Service (HoS) to the Federation, Stephen Oronsaye, and his co-accused, Osarenkhoe Afe, has been deferred to October.
There has been a new twist to the case after Federal High Court Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawale, said he intended to return the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is seeking the prosecution of the pair for an alleged N2 billion fraud.
Tuesday’s proceeding was for the hearing of the bail applications filed by Oronsaye and his co-accused, who are alleged to have been complicit in using two companies – Federick Hamilton Global Services Limited, and Xangee Technologies Limited, for shady biometrics enrolment deals to the tune of N2 billion.
Justice Kolawole had last week released the accused persons to their counsel and fixed Tuesday for hearing of the bail applications.
At the resumed sitting, prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that it would be extremely difficult for him to oppose the bail applications for the accused persons.
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“The act of the last sitting, in which Oronsaye was released by the judge was tantamount to being released on bail,” he said, adding it would be a futile effort to now try to oppose their bail applications.
Kanu Agabi, counsel to Oronsaye, urged to court not to send his client to prison custody.
“Our prisons are bad. Bail can be granted on self recognizance,” said Agabi.
Oluwole Aladedoye, counsel to Afe, who also represented the third accused, Fredrick Hamilton Global Services Limited, added that the second accused had since 2011 when investigations in the alleged fraud began.
“He never fled but honoured the invitations by the EFCC,” said Aladedoye.
Justice Kolawole has subsequently fixed October 5 for mention to ascertain which judge will hear the matter.
- CAJ News