A Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Justice U.P. Kekemeke, Monday, granted bail in the sum of N500 million to former chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety (PICOMSS), AVM Saliu Atawodi (Retd.), and one Rabiu Hassan, owner of Hypertech Company.
They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on May 11, 2016 for allegedly defrauding the federal government of about N600m through suspicious contracts to procure military boats.
One of the counts reads: “That you, AVM Saliu Atawodi (Retd.), whilst serving as the chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS), Rabiu Hassan and Hypertech (Nig) Limited on or about the 28th day of November, 2011 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud did conspire to obtain property by false pretence the sum of Six Hundred and Twenty Million Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira (N620,910,000.00) , property of the Federal Government under the pretense that the money represents payment for the supply of six pieces of K-38 armoured patrol boats to Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS) and which pretense you knew was false.”
While ruling on the bail applications by counsels to the defendants, Karina Tunyan, SAN, and Shareef Mohammed respectively, Justice Kekemeke, who cited Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), held that the defendants were entitled to bail.
The accused persons were granted bail in the sum of N500 million and two sureties each in like sum.
The judge ordered that the sureties must be serving directors or deputy directors who have landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court; alternatively, the sureties must be guarantors of right of occupancy and must swear to an affidavit of means.
The case has been adjourned to June 6, 7 and 8, 2016 for commencement of trial.