By Oluwatosin Fakeye
Justice Muhammad Tanko Salihu of the Federal High Court sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Thursday granted bail to a former minister, Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla.
Wakil was a former Minister of State for Power while the four defendants were political aspirants during the 2015 general elections.
EFCC is prosecuting the defendants on a-7 count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit Money Laundering to the tune of over N 341m.
The accused were alleged to have participated in the receipt and sharing of the largesse from Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke disbursed $115m to influence the outcome of the 2015 general election.
Ruling on the bail application on Thursday, Justice Salihu admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N 10m each with two sureties in the sum of N5m each.
The sureties, according to the judge must have a landed property within or outside the jurisdiction of the court worth the amount of their suretiship.
Count one reads: “That you, Hon. Muhammad Wakil, Garba Abacha, Ibrahim Shehu Birma, Dr. Abubakar Ali Kullima and Engr. Muhammad Baba Kachalla on or about the 26th day of March, 2015 at Maiduguri, Borno State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did agree among yourselves to do an illegal act, to wit: conspiracy to commit Money Laundering and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended)”.
The case has been adjourned to November 1, 2018 for trial.