Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday granted N50 million bail to an auto dealer, Babafemi Sarumi, the alleged head of a fraud Syndicate, wanted by the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI).
As part of the conditions for the bail, Sarumi is to produce one surety, who must be a Civil Servant on Grade Level 15 in Federal or Lagos government employment or a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction.
Justice Aneke also directed that the Civil Servant must produce a letter from the ministry’s Head of Department, confirming the surety’s statue, while the landed property owner must submit the original Certificate Of Occupancy (CofO).
Sarumi, was arraigned before the court alongside his three companies, 606 Autos Limited, 606 Music Limited and Splash Off Entertainment Limited last Friday, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an alleged N207 million fraud.
The accused person and his companies were docked on a five count-charge of transferring the said sums which were obtained under false pretence, to his syndicate members.
The offence according to the prosecutor, Anzelem B. C. Ozioko, is contrary to Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011(As Amended) and Punishable under Section 15(3) of the Act. contrary to and punishable under
In the prove-of-evidence attached to the charge, the anti-graft agency alleged that the defendant had carried out the illicit act through, Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Plc and some other banks, as their officials will be called to testify against the defendant.
Sarumi had pleaded not guilty to the charge and his counsel, Muiz Banire (SAN) through an application, urged the court to admit him to bail.
The application which was vehemently opposed to by the prosecution, under ground that the defendant ‘is a flight risk’, because he absconded when he was granted administrative bail by his Commission.
After listening to parties’ submissions on the bail application, Justice Aneke adjourned till Monday, for ruling.
Delivering ruling on the bail application yesterday, Justice Aneke after citing plethora of authorities and Section 36(5) of Nigeria 1999 Constitution, admitted bail the defendant to bail in the sum of N50 million with one surety.
The court ordered the surety to submit two passport photographs, while the defendant must submit his passport.
The judge also directed the EFCC to verify the genuineness of all documents filed within 48 hours.
The defendant’s trial has been fixed for January 22 by the court.
The EFCC had alleged in a charge marked FHC/L/374c/19, that Sarumi also called 606, and his companies have between 2013 and 2018 transferred the sum of N37.6 million to one Omojadesola Shittu Allison.
They were also alleged to have between 2015 and 2018 transferred the sum of N93 million to one Olanrewaju Ibrahim Oriyomi and the sum of N1.5 million to one Abiola Kayode Ayorinde (a.k.a ABK).
EFCC also alleged that the Sarumi and his companies between 2015 and 2018 transferred the sum of N25 million and N50 million to the dou of Bartholomew Oluchukwu Ezeudoko and Amobi Uchenna E.