An Abuja High Court on Wednesday upheld the existing bail granted to Justice Adeniyi Ademola and his wife, Olabowale on December 13, and also granted bail to Mr Joe Agi (SAN).
Ademola and wife were earlier arraigned by the Federal Government on an 11-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy to receive gratification in various ways contrary to Section 8(1)(a) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
Ademola was among the seven justices investigated after the sting operation carried out on October 8 and 9 by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The Prosecuting counsel, Mr Segun Jegede, had on January 9 informed the court that he would file an amended charge to bring in a third defendant, Mr Joe Agi (SAN).
The original count of 11 had now been amended to 16-count, and Agi was brought in as the third defendant in the matter.
The judge, Justice Jude Okeke, upheld the existing bail of N50 million each on self-recognisance granted to the Ademolas and the condition that they deposit their international passports pending the conclusion of the trial.
He said nothing had been placed before him in form of opposition by the prosecution to alter the bail.
“This being the case, the bail granted to the 1st and 2nd defendants on December 13 and the conditions attached to it are to continue.
“And the court having considered that it is its essential duty in matters of bail to impose such conditions that would ensure the defendant appears in court to stand his trial.
The application of bail is in the exercise of the court’s discretion under sections 161, 163, 164, 165 and 167(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
“Bail is granted to the third defendant on self-recognisance in the sum of N50 million; he is to deposit his international passport and other travelling documents within seven days,” Okeke ordered.
The judge then adjourned the case till January 16 for the commencement of trial and January 17 and 18 for continuation.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Segun Jegede, informed the court that he had filed the amended charges as prayed on January 9.
Jegede said this was pursuant to Sections 216 (1) and 256 of ACJA and that the defendants had been served.
The court therefore granted him his leave.
Chief Solo Akuma (SAN) counsel for the Ademola and his wife, who held brief for Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), prayed the court to uphold the existing bail of the Ademolas.
He told the court that they had fulfilled the bail condition.
Mr Japh Njikonye, counsel to Agi, told the court that they filed a motion on notice on January 10 for the bail of the 3rd defendant.
The counsel prayed the court to grant Agi bail on self-recognisance as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and as accorded him when he was invited by the DSS twice, since the substantive case had been scheduled for January 16.
“To show how responsible he is, my client is in court even though he was served only yesterday; so, there is no necessity to deposit his international passport and travelling documents,” Njikonye said.