A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has ordered staff of Zenith Bank PLC, FCMB and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to Agodi Prison pending rulings on their application for bail in the N12 billion currency scam.
The Zenith Bank staff are Philip, Ajuwon Bolade and Samuel Ogbeide. They are accused of conspiring with three CBN staff – Kolawole Babalola, Muniru Adeola and Toogun Philip – to defraud the apex bank of about N900 million by exchanging boxes of mutilated currency with new ones.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is prosecuting them, the accused delivered to the CBN only N159, 431, 7000 instead of N1,060,000,000 of mutilated currency packed in 106 boxes by Zenith Bank for the apex bank. It incidents occurred at the Ibadan branch of the CBN.
They face a 14-count charge of conspiracy and intent to defraud the CBN.
The sixth accused persons, Tijani Olusoga, as also been arrested according to the lead counsel to the EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN).
Tijani Olusoga had absconded but Jacobs said he was handed over to the police by his family, adding that he was later handed over to the commission by the law enforcement agents.
He, therefore, applied for leave of the court to amend the processes to accommodate Tijani.
Thereafter, counsel to the five accused persons adopted their written addresses, replies on point of law and further affidavits in support of their applications for bail.
Counsel to defendants argued in support of their submitted processes and urged the curt to grant their clients bail.
But the prosecution counsel opposed the bail applications, stressing that the offences against them are weighty and that they may interfere with evidence and witnesses as well as jump bail.
He urged the court to refuse the applications.
The second case involving Kehinde Fadokun and Olakunke Sijuade of FCMB also has Kolawole Bablola, Olaniran Muniru Aseola and Toogun Philip of CBN as accused persons.
Counsel also argued extensively after adopting their written addresses, further affidavits and replies on point of law.
They urged the court to admit their clients to bail on liberal terms. But Jacob urged the court to do otherwise.
After listening to various arguments from counsel to all the applicants in the two cases, Justice Olayinka Faji, adjourned ruling on the bail applications to June 19.
The accused persons were returned to Agodi, Ibadan Prison.