Thursday, May 2, 2019 6:38 pm
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday granted bail to the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Ishaq Modibbo, in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum.
The Judge, Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa, also admitted Modibbo’s co-defendants – Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman of Pinnacle Communications Ltd and Dipo Onifade – to bail in the sum of N100 million each and two sureties, each in like sum.
The trio were dragged to court by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 12-count-charge bordering on fraud in the digital switch over project of the Federal Government.
They all entered a not-guilty plea when the charges were read to them on arraignment.
The other bail conditions given by the court are that the sureties should depose to an affidavit of means as well as own property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The sureties, the judge also ordered, must be resident in the FCT, and one must be a public servant not below grade level 17 and must show evidence of tax payment in the last three years.
Ogunbanjo-Giwa said that title deeds of the property must be verified and submitted to the court.
She further ordered the defendants to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court and should not travel outside the country without the permission of the court.
She gave the defendants 10 days to fulfil the bail conditions or be remanded in prison custody.
The judge adjourned the matter until Friday for commencement of trial.
Mr Abdullahi Mustapha (SAN), counsel to Modibbo, had urged the court to grant his client bail, saying that he had filed a medical report showing that his client had health challenges.
In the same vain, Mr Alex Iziyon (SAN), counsel to Onifade and Omoluwa, also applied for bail on behalf of his clients.
Izinyon premised his bail application on the grounds that the issue was “bailable’’.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Henry Emore, had opposed the application for bail, arguing that Modibbo who was on administrative bail had jumped bail and had failed to honour an earlier invitation.
Emore, however, urged the court that, in the event it was minded to grant bail to the defendants, it should be on stringent terms to make them attend trial.