The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday granted bail in the sum of N100m to three officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, who were charged with money laundering.

The defendants, who were attached to the Osun State office of INEC, are Gbadegun Abiodun, Oladipo Oladapo and Afolabi Albert.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on August 1, 2018 arraigned them on five counts, in which they were accused of taking a bribe of N177.3m on March 30, 2015, in the build-up of the last general elections.

The anti-graft agency alleged that they handled the cash without going through any financial institution in violation of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

But they pleaded not guilty, following which Justice Chuka Obiozor ordered that they should be remanded in the prison custody and adjourned the case till Monday.

At the Monday proceedings, the defence counsel, Ayo Aladesanmi, who filed bail applications for his clients, urged the judge to admit them to bail in liberal terms.

However, the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, G.G. Chi-Yakua, opposed the bail applications, contending that if admitted to bail, the defendants would interfere with and compromise the prosecution witnesses.

In a short ruling, however, Justice Obiozor granted each of the defendants N100m bail with one surety in like sum.

The judge said the surety must own a landed property in Lagos State and must show evidence of tax payment in the last three years.

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