Six members of staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and employees of some commercial banks involved in the N12 billion mutilated currency scam had their hopes of freedom dashed on Monday as the Federal High Court, Ibadan, dismissed their bail applications.
The bail applications were filed in three batches by the suspects.
The first batch, which involved Kolawole Babalola , Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Togun Kayode Phillips, Isaq Akano, Ayodele Festus Adeyemi, Oyebamiji Akeem, Ayodeji Aleshe and Ajiwe Sunday Adegoke came first, but the defendants’ counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, did not appear in court.
The court was told that Ojo took ill. This made the judge put on hold ruling on his client’s bail application.
The second batch included the 2nd and 3rd defendants – Olaniran Muniru Adeola and Togun Kayode Phillips.
The duo also appeared in the first batch.
The presiding judge, Justice Abdul-Malik J.O, in her ruling on the bail application for the 2nd and 3rd defendants, said, “having considered the fact of the case and the findings and decision of the appellate court, the court stood heavily against the bail application for the 2nd and 3rd defendants and the application is hereby dismissed.”
The judge also dismissed the applications filed by the 4th and 5th defendants – Oni Ademola and Ayodele Festus Adeyemi.
She said: “Substantial evidence had been gathered against the defendants after the administrative bail granted them and there is every likelihood that having known the weight of the evidence gathered against them and the severity of the punishment, the defendants will jump bail if granted. I, therefore, rule that the bail application for the 4th and 5th defendants failed and ordered accelerated trial.
By the ruling, suspects in the case, which started last year, have suffered setback thrice as Monday’s refusal of bail application was the second time at thebFederal High Court.
Their appeal had also been thrown out at the appellate court before it was returned to the lower court.
The suspects were accused of converting mutilated currency totaling over N12 billion to their use while replacing them with newspapers cut to currency size. The said mutilated currency, which was generated by commercial banks, were meant to be destroyed.
The suspects were alleged to have colluded with relevant staff of the commercial banks in executing the deals.
The suspects worked for commercial banks including Zenith Bank, Wema Bank and FCMB.