Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court has granted bail to former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye who is being prosecuted by the EFCC over a N2bn fraud but it didn’t come without a mild drama.
Tuesday’s sitting was for the argument on bail application from Mr. Oronsaye, Osarenkhoe Afe, and other accused persons but EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Jacobs declined arguing that it will amount to futility since the court on the previous sitting allowed the suspects to go, an action he considers tantamount to granting them bail.
Mr. Jacobs, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said that instead of embarking on a futile journey of arguing whether or not the suspects should be granted bail, he will concentrate on negotiating the conditions for the bail. He insisted that Mr. Oronsaye was already sure of being granted bail hence he has made available a list of sureties that could stand for him.
Justice Kolawole while delivering his ruling did not find Mr. Jacobs comments suitable for fair trial.
“I had wanted both defence and prosecution to come up with the terms of the bail, but the remarks of the prosecuting counsel that he will not oppose bail were, in my view, intended to intimidate the court,” the Judge said.
Mr. Oronsaye was eventually granted bail on self recognizance. He will however deposit his passport with the court registrar.
Osarenkhoe Afe’s conditions were different. He was granted bail to the tune of N50m and two sureties who must be senior civil servants. One must own a landed property in Abuja. These are in addition to depositing his passport.
The case is now adjourned to October 5, for mention.