The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court admitted Ali Bello, Governor Yahaya Bello’s nephew, and three others to N500 million bail each in an alleged N3 billion fraud trial.
According to Justice Obiora Egwuatu’s ruling, the charges against the defendants are bailable.
Mr Egwuatu also said the bail was to enable defendants charged with an offence to prepare adequately for their trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on February 8, arraigned Bello alongside Abba Adauda, Yakubu Siyaka Adabenege and Iyadai Sadat on an 18-count criminal charge.
They were arraigned on an 18-count charge of money laundering and misappropriation of about N3 billion.
Delivering the ruling in the application, Mr Egwuatu, who said granting of bail was at the court’s discretion, said he was inclined to admit the defendants to bail.
He said the sureties should be residents in Abuja, with identifiable addresses and owned landed property worth N500 million within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge added that the original title documents of the property must be deposited with the court’s registrar, as well as evidence of tax payment for three years running from 2020 to 2022.
He also held that the defendants were to deposit their international passports with the court and could only travel after due permission.
He subsequently adjourned the matter until April 16 for trial to begin.