More suspects to be arraigned today

Five days after they were granted bail
by an Ikeja High court, sons of the incumbent
and former chairmen of the Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP, Mahmud Tukur and Ahmadu Ali and
three other oil marketers who were docked last
Thursday, are still in the custody of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
This came as more of the alleged oil subsidy
scam suspects will be arraigned today. The three
others arraigned alongside Mahmud and Ahmadu
were Abdulahi Alao, son of Alhaji Arisekola Alao,
an Ibadan based businessman; a Sierra-Leonean,
Christian Taylor and Ochonogor Alex. They were
accused of defrauding the Federal Government
of N304 billion in the oil subsidy scam.
After their arraignment last Thursday, Justice
Adeniyi Onigbanjo of Ikeja High Court granted
them bail in the sum of N20 million with two
sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be
a level 16 officer in the Lagos State or Federal
Civil Service. The other one must own a property
worth N200 million.
It was gathered, however, that all their efforts to
meet the bail conditions last Friday, the last
working day, were futile.
As at Saturday evening, Vanguard was reliably
informed that the accused were yet to fulfill the
bail conditions, especially getting sureties on
level 16.
Another major hurdle before them was the
verification of the particulars of the sureties as
ordered by the court as well as getting the state
officials to verify the property they intend to use
as one of the conditions stipulated by the court.
In Lagos State, it was gathered that the state
officials will have to visit and value the property
and ensure that the property is properly
evaluated and that necessary land charges have
been paid before approval for the bail.
Some of the counsel to the oil marketers were
sighted at the premises of the High Court Ikeja
at about 5.30 pm on Friday, moving from one
office to the other, trying to perfect the bail
One of the court officials, who spoke on
condition of anonymity said, “the way things are
going, I doubt if they will finish the process
before Wednesday.
As I am talking, they are yet to get a level 16
officer to stand in for three of them.
“You know the process is long and cumbersome.
They are yet to get or clear the issue of tax
clearance which is the most difficult aspect now
in Lagos State. Apart from getting the tax
clearance, the state officials will visit the
property being used as guarantee and value it
with their valuers and also ensure that proper
‘land use charges’ are paid on the property.”
My son is answerable for his actions —
Arisekola Alao
Meanwhile, an Ibadan-based businessman,
Alhaji Arisekola Alao has said his son Abdullahi
who is facing trial in Lagos over oil subsidy scam
is an adult and a businessman doing business
like every other Nigerian. In a statement,
yesterday, he said Abdulahi Alao “is answerable
for his actions and transactions under the law of
the land. As an adult and a true Muslim, there is
no doubt that he knows what is wrong and what
is right”

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