EFCC Not Behind Court’s ‘Stringent’ Bail Condition For Jonathan Cousin – Family

Robert-Azibaola-wifeThe family of Roberts Azibaola has denied reports that it blamed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for “orchestrating stringent bail conditions” that ensured their son Robert and his wife, Stella, remain in prison remand.
Azibaola, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin, and his wife, were arraigned by the EFCC before a federal high court in Abuja on a seven-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption.
The duo are accused of diverting $40 million purportedly meant for the supply of tactical communication kits for Nigeria’s Special Forces.
The funds were alleged to have been transferred from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, with the Central Bank of Nigeria to the domiciliary account of the couple’s company, One Plus Holdings.
On June 8, the former president’s cousin and his wife were granted bail in the sum of N1 billion. They were directed by the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, to deposit N500million each as well as produce two sureties in the like sum.
The judge further directed that the sureties must be owners of landed property in either Maitama or Asokoro districts of Abuja, and must produce evidence that they have paid income tax for the past three years. It stressed that the registry of the court must verify and confirm that all the conditions were perfected, before the defendants could be released from Kuje prison.
However, one week after they were granted bail, Robert and his wife are still being held in Kuje prison as they have been unable to fulfil the bail conditions handed to them by the trial court.
A member of the family was quoted in reports some few days ago accusing the anti-graft agency of influencing the stringent bail conditions given by the court.
Refuting the report, a statement signed by one Faith Robert on behalf of the family said “we want to put it on record that at no time did we accuse the EFCC of doing anything to influence the bail conditions outlined by the court.
“We have not and could not also therefore accuse the judge of being under the influence of the EFCC”, the family said.
“We could not have done that knowing well that the judiciary is an independent arm of government and the judge will not succumb to any form of interference in the discharge of his judicial duties”.