Court grants bail to former Interior Minister

Chukwumerije Aja, Abuja

A federal high court presided over by Justice Anwuli Chikere on Thursday, granted bail to the embattled former Nigeria Minister of Interior, Abba Moro bail on self recognition.
The court however granted bail to two other accused persons in the sum of 100,000,000 naira with one surety each in like sum.
The sureties must not be below the rank of a Director in the civil service and must have landed properties anywhere in Nigeria.
The title deeds of their properties must be deposited with the court registrar as well as the travelling documents of the defendants.

It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro and three others, in a Federal High Court, Abuja, on 11 count charges of procurement fraud and Money Laundering.

The others are Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, former Permanent Secretary; F.O Alayebami, a serving Deputy Director in the ministry; Mahmood Ahmadu, who is at large and Drexel Global Tech Ltd.
The defendants were arraigned for defrauding 676,675 Nigerian applicants of about N676 million in the botched March 15, 2014 immigration recruitment exercise.

The charge stated that each of the applicants was charged N1000 for online registration to be eligible to participate in the recruitment exercise.
The anti-graft body said the defendants flouted the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the award of the contract for the conduct of the recruitment test to Drexel Global Tech Ltd.

The EFCC said that the first to the third defendants failed to throw the bidding process of the contract open to competition before it was awarded to Drexel.

The charge said the contract was awarded through selective tendering without seeking the approval of the Bureau for Public Procurement.

The prosecution said the action was contrary to Sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act and punishable under Section 58 of the same Act.

The charge also alleged that Drexel Global Ltd had no legal backing to have been given the contract as it was not a registered entity with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
The charge further stated that it was unlawful for the defendants to approve the registration fees for the exercise without the due approval from the Nigerian Immigration Board.

The prosecution, therefore, said such approval was contrary to Section 22 (5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act of 2000.

They however, pleaded not guilty to the 11-count charge.

The presiding judge, Justice Anwuli Chikere, therefor adjourned the matter till April 27 for trial.