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Jonathan’s Cousin, Wife Granted N1bn Bail Over Alleged $40M Fraud Saga

Azibaola and wife, Stella

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, Robert Azibaola and his wife, Stella, to the tune of N1billion.

The accused persons were arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged fraud.

They were arraigned before the court on a seven-count criminal charge bordering on alleged $40million contract scam.

Trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba gave the defendants bail in the sum of N500million each, even as he ordered them to produce two sureties in like sum.

According to the court, the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Asokoro District of Abuja.

It further stressed that the sureties must present evidence of payment of income tax.

Meanwhile, Justice Dimgba directed that the defendants should be remanded at Kuje Prison, pending the fulfillment of the bail conditions. Besides, the court ordered accelerated hearing on the matter, even as the case was adjourned till June 28, July 4 and 5 for commencement of trial. It would be recalled that the court had on Tuesday, remanded Azibaola in prison custody shortly after he pleaded not guilty to the charge. The court however allowed his wife to go home on the basis of an administrative bail the anti-graft agency earlier granted to her. Meanwhile, Justice Dimgba, in his ruling, said he was minded to release the defendants on bail. The judge stressed that “every citizen charged before a court is presumed innocent until proven guilty”.

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