N104m Fraud: Masari Gets N30m Bail

* Masari

Bature Masari former Director General, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN who is facing a N104.7 million fraud charge was Friday granted bail by Justice Okon Abang of Federal High Court Abuja

Masari, first arraigned on April 9, 2019 on a 17-count charge, following allegations of money laundering activities and benefiting from proceeds of gratification was remanded to Kuje Prison on April 10, 2019.

During his appearance in court,  his counsel, A. Magaji, SAN, had made an oral application for bail, which was opposed to by the prosecution, prompting the trial judge to fix hearing on the bail application to April 12, 2019, and to order the remand of the defendant in prison.

At the resumed hearing, the court held that a defendant could make oral application for bail.

Counsel for the EFCC, Faruk Abdullahi, noted that bail was at the discretion of court.
“What is paramount is to ensure that the defendant comes to court for his trial,” he said, and urged the court to impose conditions that would ensure that the defendant attends his trial.

Subsequently, Justice Abang granted Masari bail in the sum of N30 million with one surety in like sum. The surety, the judge ruled, must be resident in Abuja, and must have a landed property with certificate of ownership. Masari was also ordered to deposit his international passport with the Registrar of the court.

The case has been adjourned to May 24, 2019 for hearing.

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