Banker Gets N200m Bail In Fraud Allegation
An Enugu State High Court, Friday, granted bail worth N200 Million to Oliver Anidiobi, a banker who was accused of fraud. Anidiobi is facing trial before the court on 32 count charges of forgery and stealing, slammed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was earlier arraigned by EFCC on May 7 this year and was remanded in prison custody. Anidiobi was branch manager of a new generation bank when he allegedly committed the crime. DAILY POST reports that the Bank had earlier cried out over the perceived delay of the EFCC to prosecute him. Anidiobi was arrested by EFCC last year, following a petition by Olu Omotayo Esq., the company lawyer of Ohha Microfinance Bank Limited. Instead of arraigning the accused person, the anti-graft agency granted him administrative bail. He was, however, charged to court, following pressure from the counsel to the microfinance bank. EFCC accused him of stealing N219 million belonging to Ohha Microfinance Bank Limited while a staff of the new generation bank. When the matter came up in court, Ogochukwu Onyema, counsel to the accused person urged the court to grant his client bail. Onyema cited Section 158 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and Section 36 (5) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, stating that an accused person has to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Onyema argued that the offence is ordinarily bailable and not a capital offence. Responding, Michael Ani, the prosecuting counsel and principal legal officer in EFCC, urged the court to decide the amount involved (N219 Million) if it wants to grant bail. Ani also pleaded that the EFCC should participate in the verification of the bail bond. Ruling on the bail application, Justice C.O. Ajah, in the absence of any opposition, admitted the accused person to bail in the sum of N100 million, with two sureties in like sum who must be property owners in Enugu. Justice Ajah said the two sureties must also swear an affidavit of means. The judge adjourned the matter to July 19 for trial.