Lagos, on Thursday, August 15, 2019, granted bail to Abdullahi Babalele,
a son-in-law to a former Vice President and People’s Democratic Party
(PDP) Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, in
the sum of N20m.
Babalele was arraigned on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 on a two-count
charge bordering on money laundering to the tune of $140, 000.
The defendant allegedly persuaded one Bashir Mohammed to make a cash
payment of the sum of $140,000 without going through any financial
institution, an offence contrary to Section 18(c) of the Money
Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2100 as amended and punishable under
Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
During the proceedings yesterday, Babalele’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN,
told the court that his client had filed an application for bail and
served same on the prosecution.
However, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in his response, told
the court that he was served with the application yesterday morning and
that he would need time to respond to it.
Consequently, Justice Oweibo, after listening to both parties, adjourned
to Thursday, August 15, 2019 (today) for hearing of the bail
During today’s proceedings, counsel to the defendant, Mike Ozekhome SAN,
filed a motion for bail on behalf his client, seeking the order of the
court to grant his client bail on self-recognition.
Ozekhome also argued that the prosecution ought not to have opposed the
bail application because the defendant was granted an administrative
bail by the EFCC, after his arrest and detention in the EFCC custody.
Ozekhome further told the court that the defendant had never jumped the
administrative bail granted him by the EFCC since March, 2019, adding
that the defendant would be willing to stand his trial.
The defence counsel, therefore, urged the court to grant his client bail
and also prayed the court to release his client to him while perfecting
his bail conditions “in the circumstance that he is granted bail.” In
his response, the prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, filed a
counter-affidavit to the application, urging the court not to grant the
Buhari stated that there were obvious tendencies that the defendant
would interfere with the prosecution witnesses, adding that some of the
prosecution witnesses had worked under the defendant. Buhari, therefore,
urged the court not to grant the defendant bail in the “interest of
justice and to allow the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable
He also told the court that the Law does not allow the release of a
defendant to his or her lawyer in any circumstance.
In his ruling, Justice Oweibo granted the defendant bail in the sum of
N20m (Twenty Million Naira), with one surety in like sum.
The surety must be resident in Lagos and must be a property owner in
Lagos. The property as well as the address of the surety must be
verified by the court.
The Judge who further directed that the defendant’s passport must be
deposited with the court’s Registrar, remanded Babalele in the EFCC
custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
Also, during today’s sitting, Justice Oweibo granted both Uyiekpen
Giwa-Osagie, a lawyer to Atiku, and his son, Erhunse Giwa-Osagie, bail
in the sum of N20m each.
Both defendants were also arraigned yesterday on a three-count charge
bordering on money laundering to the tune of $2,000,000.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them
by the Commission.
Counsel to the first defendant, Ahmed Raji, SAN, as well as counsel to
the second defendant, Quarkers Norrison, SAN, filed applications for
bail for their clients and also urged the court to grant them bail.
Ruling on the applications today, Justice Oweibo granted bail to the
defendants in the sum of N20m each, with one surety in like sum. The
sureties must be resident in Lagos and must be property owners in Lagos.
The properties and addresses of the sureties must be verified by the
court, while the passports of the defendants must be deposited with the
The defendants were released to their counsel for 14 days, pending the
perfection of their bail conditions.
Justice Oweibo also ordered the defendants to be remanded in prison, if
they failed to perfect their bail conditions at the expiration of the 14
The cases were adjourned to October 8, 2019 for commencement of trial.