By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
A Lagos businessman, Akintoye Akindele, accused of offering police a bribe of N150 million to escape justice in an alleged fraud has denied committing the alleged offence.
Akindele, who is the Managing Director of Duport Midstream Company, pleaded not guilty to the one count charge at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja on Tuesday.
The Inspector General of Police, through his counsel, Mr Simon Lough, SAN had brought the charge against the defendant on the allegations that he offered police N150 million to suppress Investigations in respect of a petition against him by Summit Oil International Limited.
The charge indicated that Akindele made a part payment of N50 million to a team of Investigators led by one Ibrahim Ezekiel Sini, of the Federal Investigation Bureau.
In the summit Oil petition, the defendant was alleged to have conspired with others and diverted the sum of $5, 636, 397 and another N73, 543, 764 belonging to the company.
However, when the charge was read to him, Akindele denied and pleaded not guilty.
The Police counsel thereafter applied for an adjournment to enable him assemble his witnesses to establish his case against the defendant.
However, counsel to the defendant Mr Henry Eni-otu and Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi from Law Corridor made a strong case for the defendant to be admitted to bail on liberal conditions.
Among others, the counsel drew the attention of the court to the fact that their client had been in the custody of Police for more than three weeks over the said petition.
Eni-otu pleaded with the court to invoke Section 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to admit the defendant to bail and assured that Akindele will not breach any of the bail conditions.
In a short ruling, Justice Hamza Muazu, acceded to the request of the lawyers and granted bail to their client in the sum of N500 million and two sureties in the like sum.
The two sureties must however be owners of landed property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with verifiable title documents.
As at the time of this report, lawyers to the defendant and his friends and associates were on the verge of perfecting his bail conditions for him to return to his house.
Meanwhile no date has been fixed for trail.