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‘N69bn fraud’: Court grants Ngozi Olejeme, ex-NSITF chair, bail

‘N69bn fraud’: Court grants Ngozi Olejeme, ex-NSITF chair, bail
October 22
17:00 2021

A federal capital territory (FCT) high court sitting in Jabi, on Friday, granted Ngozi Olejeme, former chairperson of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), bail.

The development comes hours after the former NSITF boss was remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), pending the hearing of her bail application.

Olejeme was arraigned before the court on Thursday over allegations bordering on abuse of public office and money laundering to the tune of N69 billion.

She, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against her by the EFCC.

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Paul Erokoro, Olejeme’s lawyer, had asked the court to grant bail to his client on self recognisance or on liberal terms.

“The applicant has been diabetic and hypertensive for 30 years. She has had four major surgeries in the United States of America and South Africa,” he said.

“Four months ago, the applicant suffered a heart failure and last month, she caught COVID-19 and she is still in the recovery process. She will have follow-up surgery, one of which is scheduled to hold next month in South Africa.”

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Steve Odiase, prosecuting counsel, did not oppose the application, but insisted that the ex-NSITF chair be granted conditional bail requiring her to present a surety.

According to NAN, at the hearing on Friday, the court adopted the administrative bail conditions granted the defendant by the EFCC.

The conditions of the bail stipulated that the defendant should provide two assistant directors in government establishments as sureties.

Maryam Hassan, the presiding judge, also directed that the travel documents of the defendant be submitted at the court’s registry.

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The matter has been adjourned till November 8 for hearing.

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