Newsmen gathered that relatives of bankers standing trial before a Federal High Court sitting in Oyo State for their roles in the N8bn bad notes fraud yesterday besieged the court’s premises, raining curses on those behind their ordeal, while other queried the presence of journalists at the court.
Among the relatives was a physically-challenged woman in a wheel-chair who kept praying for one Deji, one of the suspects, insisting that the ‘good’ he had done and scores of people he had shown kindness would see him through the case.
Another woman wept uncontrollably, raining curses on those who spilled the whistle-blowers, saying: “Deji, God would consider all your good gestures and help you out. The ancestors of all of us who you have shown kindness in various ways would make you go scot-free”.
The relatives of the suspects became hostile to photo-journalists who were there to take their photographs when they were about boarding a rickety prison truck back to the prisons.
The suspects have been in detention at the Agodi Prisons, Ibadan, since they were sued by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission last week.
The eight suspects in the first batch were led into the court minutes before 9am, all of them except the woman, in handcuffs. As soon as they sat down, the handcuffs were removed before court proceedings began.
After the charges were read to the suspects last week, the case was adjourned till yesterday when applications for bail were supposed to be heard.
At the sitting of the court yesterday, presided over by Justice Adeyinka Faaji, the proceeding was stalled due to processes that had not been served on some of the counsels. Two cases regarding the frsdu were heard in batches.
The defendants/applicants who applied for bail in the first batch of the case are Kolawole Babalola, Olaniran Muniru Adeola, Toogun Kayode Phillip, all staff members of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Others are Isiaq Akano, Ayodele Adeyemi, Oyebamiji Akeem, Ayodeji Alase and Ajiwe Adegoke.
When counsel to the defendants could not reach a common ground as to whether the case should be heard or not, the presiding judge suggested that the case be “stood down till noon,” subject to the agreement of the counsel.
While the prosecuting counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) agreed to that, other counsels expressed fear that the prosecution could still claim he had no sufficient time to go through the processes.