A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama has granted N500million bail to a Lagos businessman, Dr. Akintoye Akindele accused of offering N50m bribe to men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Justice Hamza Muazu, in a ruling on Tuesday, rejected the request by the lawyer for the prosecution, Simon Lough (SAN) to further detain the defendant to enable the police conclude investigation.
Justice Muazu agreed with the defence lawyer, Henry Eni-Otu that the offence, with which the defendant was charged, is ordinarily bailable.
He proceeded to admit Akindele, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Duport Midstream Company Ltd, to bail at N500m, with two sureties in like sum.
Justice Muazu, who is sitting as the court’s vacation judge, said one of the sureties must own landed property within jurisdiction and should be a resident of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT.)
The judge ordered the defendant to deposit his international passport with the court.
He noted that since it would be impossible to conclude the case during the vacation, which would soon end, it was better to return the case file to the court’s Chief Judge for reassignment to a regular court after the vacation.
Justice Muazu then ordered the return of the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment.
Akindele, who has been in police custody for weeks, was arraigned on Tuesday on a one-count charge, marked: CR/595/2023 filed in the name of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
The prosecution claimed the defendant offered to bribe policemen, who were investigating a case of funds diversion brought against him, to enable him escape abroad.
Akindele denied the prosecution’s claim by pleading not guilty when the charge was read to him, following which his lawyer applied for bail.
The charge reads: “That you Akintoye Akindele, male (49 years), MD/CEO of Duport Midstream Company Limited of D2 Mambilla Close Osborne Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos between 5th and 9th August 2023 in Abuja, while being investigated by SP Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini and his team on a petition submitted to the Inspector General of Police FIB by Summit Oil International Limited on allegation of diversion of the sum of $5,636,397.01 and N73,543,763.25, you offered gratification of N150,000,000.00 and made part payment of N50,000,000.00 to SP Ibrahim Sini, a public servant in circumstance and for the purpose of allowing you to escape abroad and to write a report in your favour.”
The prosecution claimed the alleged offence is punishable under Section 118 of the Penal Code Law.
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