COURT GRANTS BAIL TO BAYELSA FINANCE COMMISSIONER
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday granted bail to the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Sylva Opuala-Charles, who was arraigned before it for alleged complicity in an alleged N2.4bn scam.
The finance commissioner, who voluntarily turned himself in after he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was admitted to bail in the sum of N100m, two sureties in like sum, with one of them depositing at the court's registry the Certificate of Occupancy of a plot of land in Abuja. The commissioner was also ordered to deposit his international passport with the court's registrar.
The court further directed that his lawyer should write a letter introducing the sureties, one of whom must be a director in the Federal Civil Service, to the court. Opuala-Charles could not be arraigned with three other officials two weeks ago on a six-count charge bordering on criminal diversion of N2bn Bayelsa State funds and money laundering, to which they pleaded not guilty.
He was at that time said to be at large, following which the EFCC declared him wanted having allegedly failed to honour three invitations extended to him by the commission.
Earlier arraigned were the state Accountant-General, Francis Okokuro; the Director of Finance, Abbot Clinton; and the Director of Treasury, Ikobho Howells.
Trial was adjourned to May 19, 2010.