A former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Maurice Iwu, is likely to spend the weekend and public holidays at Ikoyi prisons.
Iwu, who is standing trial on a four-count charge bordering on aiding unlawful concealment of funds suspected to be proceeds of fraud, was admitted to bail in the sum of N1bn with two sureties in like sum on Friday by Justice Chuka Obiozor of Lagos division of the Federal high court.
While delivering his ruling on the bail application, Justice Obiozor held “bail is hereby granted to the defendant to the tune of N1billion with two sureties in like sum.”
“The first surety shall be resident in Lagos State and shall transmit his land use as evidence of ownership of property in Lagos State and furnish the court with evidence of payment of tax from three years prior to today. As proof of address, the defendant shall furnish the court with his statement of account with any bank in Nigeria with passport photograph. The bank shall depose to the photograph as true identity of the account holder”
“The defendant and sureties shall provide two of their recent passport photographs for court record. The defendant shall cease all manner of communication either directly or by proxy with any of the witness the prosecution might call in this matter.”
“The second surety must be a civil servant in the state within the grade of level 16 or a professor in any of the universities in Nigeria. The second surety shall provide proof of tax for three years prior to today. Must be resident in Lagos and as proof of address, he shall provide statement of account to which a passport photograph will be attached which the bank shall depose as the true identity of the account holder”
“The defendant shall keep the original copy of his international passport with this court and shall not travel outside the country without the approval of this court. Deputy registrar of the Lagos division shall verify all documents submitted by the defendant and sureties and pending the perfection of bail, the defendant shall be remanded in prison custody at Ikoyi prison.”
Earlier in the proceeding while making an oral submission to the counter affidavit filed by the prosecution opposing the defendants bail application, Ahmed Raji, counsel to the defendant urged the court to disregard the position of the prosecution as there are no evidence to back up their claims in the counter affidavit.
Pleading with the court to deny granting bail to the defendant, prosecuting counsel Rotimi Oyedepo said, “we have witnesses that have worked closely with the defendant and if granted bail, they will be intimidated”
“In the unlikely event that the bail is granted, I urge your lordship to impose such conditions that will compel him to come to court and conditions that will make sure our witnesses are not tampered with and no contact between them both formally and informally especially with witnesses that have worked with him at one point or the other. ”
“I also urge the court to impose conditions that will ensure that if he absconds, we would be able to lay hands on something that is equivalent to the N1.2billion under dispute. “