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Gabriel Suswam Court grants former Benue Governor N250m bail

Justice Kolawole also ordered that the defendants shall surrender their international or diplomatic passports to the court.

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Gabriel Suswam play

Gabriel Suswam

(Sondiata Post)

The Federal High Court in Abuja Monday granted bail to the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam and two others who were arraigned on a fresh charge of money laundering.

Suswam was arraigned alongside his Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Omadachi Oklobia, and the then Accountant of the Government House, Mrs. Janet Aluga.

The defendants were accused of diverting the sum of N9.79billion, part of which was meant for Police Reform Programme and Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the 32-count charges of fraud, money laundering and financial misappropriation levelled against them.

After the charges were read, counsel to Suswam and Oklobia, Tawo Tawo (SAN), applied for their bail stating that the defendants were granted bail when arraigned by the EFCC for corruption charges before Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

He added that the defendants did not jump the bail granted to them and  have been attending  trial.

The prosecuting counsel, Aminu Alilu, who did not object to the application for bail, asked the court to use its discretion.

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, granted the defendants bail in the sum N250 million each with one surety each in like sum.

He ordered that each surety must be a director or principal officer not below Grade Level 12 in a local, state or federal establishment.

The court said in a situation whereby the defendants fail to get a high ranking civil servant, persons with national honour shall suffice.

Justice Kolawole also ordered that the defendants shall surrender their international or diplomatic passports to the Deputy Registrar Litigation.

ALSO READ: Former Benue Governor, Suswam hit with fresh corruption charges

“These bail conditions shall be verified by the Deputy Chief Registrar, Litigation, and if the defendants fail to meet up with conditions today, they shall be remanded in prison.

“The surety must swear an affidavit of means in signing the bail bond and must produce recent passport photograph to the Deputy Chief registrar Litigation, ” he said.

The Judge adjourned the matter to Oct. 10, for commencement of trial.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), recalled that Suswam is also facing corruption charges before Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court.

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