Monday, 18 July 2016

N2.4bn ONSA Contract Scam: Contractor gets bail on tough terms

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday, July 18, 2016 granted bail to Olugbenga Obadina, managing director, Almond Projects Limited who allegedly collected money to the tune of N2.4billion from the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, under Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) purportedly for a contract without contract award.

He was arraigned on Friday, July 15, 2016 by the EFCC, alongside his company, Almond Projects Limited on an eight-count charge for allegedly collecting a sum of N2, 417, 000,000.00 (two billion, four hundred and seventeen million naira), paid into his company’s account in tranches, between 2013 and 2015 from the account of the ONSA under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) without contract award. The offence is contrary to Section 15(2), (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Ruling on his bail application, Justice Dimgba admitted Obadina to bail in the sum of N500million which will be forfeited to the Federal Government in the event that he absconds. The defendant must also provide two sureties in the sum of N250million each and must enter a bail bond with the court. The sureties can be a private businessman, professional or civil servant of the rank of a director. The sureties must have landed properties either in Asokoro, Maitama, Apo Legislative quarters, Wuse II area of Abuja, FCT or Victoria Island area of Lagos State. The sureties are to provide evidence of income tax payment for three years.

Additionally, the defendant must deposit his international passports with the registrar of the court, and must go to the EFCC to comply with Section 15 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which entails submitting himself for biodata collection, fingerprinting, snapshot and necessary profiling while the EFCC is expected to write a letter to the court in evidence of the defendant’s compliance.

Furthermore, an affidavit from the defence counsel on applicant’s compliance will suffice in the event of the EFCC delaying. The court registrar must verify the bail terms and can call on the EFCC where needed or deemed necessary.

Meanwhile, the defendant is to be remanded in prison custody pending satisfaction of his bail conditions.

The matter has been adjourned to September 30 and October 4, 2016 for trial

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