The former governor of Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu alongside a former Director General of the Directorate of Rural Development in his administration, Alfa Ibn Mustapha were yesterday remanded in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) custody for allegedly misappropriating over N10billion naira between 1999 to 2003.
LEADERSHIP gathered that Audu and his cohort will remain with the anti-graft operatives pending when they will perfect their bail condition of N100million.
The duo were arraigned before Justice A.O. Adeniyi of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama on a 36-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of
N10,965,837,040? (Ten Billion, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand, Eighty Hundred and Thirty Seven Naira, Forty Kobo).
When the multiple charges were read to Audu and his co-accused they all pleaded not guilty to the charge and their lawyers quickly pleaded the court that their clients be granted bail.
Prince Audu’s counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), prayed the court to allow his client to return home on bail pending trial, arguing that his client would make himself available for trial and that he would not jump bail.
Similarly, counsel to the second accused (Mustapha), Prince Orji Nwafor Orizu also made the same plea for bail saying the two accused had been on administrative bail, but prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) opposed the oral application, insisting that a formal application should be presented before the court.
Jacobs went further to request for a date for the commencement of trial.
In his ruling, Justice Adeniyi granted bail to the accused persons in the sum of N100million and a surety in like sum.
The judge said the surety must have a property within the jurisdiction of the court with proof of ownership and the said surety must also produce evidence of tax payment for the past 3 years, and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.