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Alleged Fraud: Court Denies Kogi Assembly Candidate Bail

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Alleged Fraud: Court Denies Kogi Assembly Candidate Bail

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday denied bail to three men accused of hacking the computer network of Union Bank and stealing more than N1.4 billion naira.

The defendants are a Kogi State House of Assembly candidate, Ismaila Yousuf Atumeyi, a former employee of Union Bank Abdulmalik Salau and one Ngene Joshua.

The men were on Monday arraigned by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an 18-count charge before Justice Tijjani Ringim.

They pleaded not guilty and applied for bail through their counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN.

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But EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, opposed the application and applied for an accelerated hearing of the matter.

In its Ruling on their bail applications on Tuesday, Justice Tijjani Ringim upheld Mr Oyedepo’s arguments that the defendants were a flight risk and the probability of them jumping bail is high.

The court noted that the magnitude of the offence is such the defendants can interfere with the law enforcement procedure and abscond.

It noted further that extradition procedures from anywhere is such a cumbersome process.

“In all, I hold that the application for bail filed and argued by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, lacks merit and it is accordingly dismissed,” Justice Ringim held.

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He remanded the defendants in the Ikoyi Correctional facility and adjourned till January 24, 2023 for trial.

The First defendant, Mr Atumeyi is the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) candidate for the Ankpa 11 Constituency for next year’s House of Assembly election in Kogi.

The 18-count charge preferred against the defendants borders on allegations of concealment of proceeds of fraud, money laundering and cybercrime.

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