A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA Barrister Emonena Blessing Ukiri was on Monday remanded in prison custody by Justice U. N. Agomoh of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Barrister Ukiri is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission; EFCC, on charges of fraud, stealing and money laundering to the tune of over N35million.
Ukiri allegedly converted a N35million judgment sum paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to his client, one Samuel Onowighose, by concealing the origin of the fund and using part of it to acquire 150,000 units of First Bank of Nigeria PLC shares and thereby commits an offence punishable under Section 14 (1) (A) of the Money Laundering Act, 2004.
Defence Counsel, Barrister A. O. Ojekudos moved a motion for bail as the defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mrs. Olatunji Ademiju insisted that the court should fix a date for trial.
Ojekudos appealed to the court to allow the accused person to continue to enjoy the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in 2007.
The prosecuting counsel however objected to the bail application on the grounds that she was only served in court and needed time to study the application.
Before adjourning proceedings to October 18, 2012, Justice Agomoh maintained that an administrative bail granted in 2007 cannot be used as a basis for seeking bail in a matter filed in 2012. He therefore ordered that the accused person be remanded in prison custody until the next sitting.