Immigration job scam: Court grants Abba Moro bail on self-recognition

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to former Interior Minister, Abba Moro, who is facing charges over the tragic March 15, 2014 Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment in which more than a dozen job seekers died.

Justice Anwuli Chikere granted Moro bail on self-recognition and without conditions.

The judge said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove that the ex-minister would interfere with his trial if granted bail.

She however ruled that two other defendants should pay N100 million each with a surety in like sum. The sureties must be of the directorate cadre in the civil service.

All the accused persons, including Moro are, however, to deposit their passports and other travel documents with the court registrar throughout the period of their trial.

The other accused persons, who were granted bail are a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia‎, and former Director in the Ministry, F.O Alayebami.

Moro, Daniel-Nwobia and Alayebami‎ were on Monday arraigned along with the firm contracted to execute the recruitment exercise, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited.

The prosecution said one of the suspects, Mahmood Ahmadu, who was also involved in the alleged scam, was on the run.

Shortly after they pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, Justice Chikere had remanded Moro and Alayebami in prison pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.

The judge had on the other hand allowed Daniel-Nwobia to continue enjoying the administrative bail earlier granted to her by the EFCC to take care of her new baby.

The judge agreed with Moro’s counsel, Akinlolu Kehinde, that Moro, being a former minister, was a senior citizen, who could be granted bail on self recognition.

Moro and four others are facing an 11-count charge of money laundering.

They are accused of defrauding 676, 675 applicants of the sum of N676, 675, 000, being the aggregate of N1000 paid by each applicant to Drexel ahead of the recruitment.

Moro was earlier held at the Kuje prison in Abuja pending the determination of his bail application.