Justice Olusola Williams of the Lagos State Special Offences Court, Ikeja on Monday ordered that a businessman, Olumuyiwa Williams, who was accused of stealing the sum of N165 million, be kept in prison until the perfection of his bail conditions.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had arraigned Williams and his company Manhattan Corporate Essentials Limited before the court on a three-count charge of stealing and conspiracy.
According to the EFCC counsel, Steve Owede, Williams and his company, and others who are now at large conspired among themselves to steal the sum, belonging to Equatorial Energy Company Limited.
Owede also informed the court that the defendant committed the offences between January and February 2017 and it contravenes sections 409 and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The defendant, however pleaded not guilty to the charge.
After the arraignment, counsel to the defendant, Tunde Busari urged the court to admit his client to bail on health ground.
Busari said, “A medical report attached to the application shows that the doctor had instructed him not to be involved in any strenuous activity because he is easily fatigued. He has also been advised to be seeing a dietician always.
In his response, Owede prayed the court to dismiss the defendant’s application, describing him as a flight risk.
He submitted, “My lord, it took the Commission one year to arrest this defendant and he does not have a house or fix address where he lives in Nigeria.
“The defendant has both American and Nigerian international passport and each time he visited Nigeria, he stays in hotels.”
Owede however prayed the court to remand him in prison custody.
In a short ruling, Justice Williams said the defendant is entitled to bail and the offences he was charged for is bailable.
She said, “The court shall be granting the defendant bail on health grounds and due to the fact that he has no past criminal record.
“He is therefore admitted to bail in the sum of N10 million with three responsible sureties,” the court held.
The judge also ruled that the defendant must provide details of his residential address to the court and he must sign an undertaken that he will not jump bail.
“The sureties must swear to an affidavit and at least one of them must be a landed property owner in Lagos. One of the sureties must be a blood relation while one must also be a level 12 Civil servant.
The judge further held that the defendant should be remanded in EFCC custody for a week pending the time he will perfect his bail conditions.
“If at the expiration of the seven days and he can not perfect his bail, he will be transferred to the prison custody,” she ruled.
She thereafter adjourned the matter till March 30 for commencement of trial.
Part of the charge against the defendant reads: ” That you, Olumuyiwa Samuel Williams, Manhattan Corporate Essentials Limited and others at large on January 9 and February 92017 stolen the cumulative sum of N41,250,000,00 (Forty One Million Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), property of Equatorial Energy Company Limited.
“That you, Olumuyiwa Samuel Williams and others at large between January 26 and February 10, 2017 with a dishonest intent stole a cumulative sum of N124, 050,000,00 (One hundred and twenty four million, fifty thousand Maura) property of Equatorial Energy Company Limited.