The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arraigned a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission, Nicholas Ebomo, Airworld Technologies LTD, Oyien Homes LTD, and one Blessing Mutu (now at large) before Justice F. O. G. Ogunbanjo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on an 11-count charge for alleged fraud and abuse of office.
The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Prosecuting counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, thereafter requested for a trial date, and asked the court to remand Ebomo in prison.
Counsel for the defence, P. I. N. Nikwueto (SAN), told the court that he was ready for the trial, and applied for the bail of his client.
However, Iheanacho, opposed the bail application, according to a statement by Acting Head, Media and Publicity of EFCC, Tony Orilade.
He said, “My lord we cannot take the risk we took in 2018 when we granted him bail, he was released in the name of one Anthony John Ikpoyi (SAN).
“From that day till date, the defendant dishonoured the terms and conditions of bail, and never showed up to EFCC office. So many efforts were made including arresting the sureties, yet he refused to show up.
“Even the record of the court shows that the matter came up on three different times, but it couldn’t go on because they couldn’t produce the first defendant.
“So, my lord, his coming today to court is not voluntarily, but because of fear that arrest warrant is to be issued against him.”
But Justice Ogunbanjo in his ruling on the bail application, granted temporary freedom to Mutu, saying that he took judicial notice of the administrative bail which the EFCC earlier granted to the lawmaker.
He thereafter adjourned the case until February 25, March 4 and 5, April 22 and 28, and May 5 and 6, 2020 for trial.