By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday granted bail at N200million to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Great Nigeria Insurance Plc, Cecilia Osipitan upon her arraignment on a charge of money laundering related offences.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling, rejected the objection raised by the prosecution to Osipitan’s bail application and held that, by the evidence before the court, the applicant deserved to be admitted to bail.
Justice Ekwo added that Osipitan must produce a surety, who should provide evidence of owning a landed property, worth N200m within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge ordered Osipitan to submit her international passport and to always seek the court’s permission before travelling out of the country.
Justice Ekwo, who allowed Osipitan to return home on the undertaking of her lawyer, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), said she would be taken into the prosecuting agency’s custody if by March 31, 2021 she is unable to meet the bail conditions.
The judge adjourned till May 24, 2021 for the commencement of trial.
Osipitan was arraigned on Thursday, with a firm in which she is said to have interest – PJO Ventures Limited – on a nine-count charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/9/2021 filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
EFCC accused Osipitan and PJO, in count one of the charge, of taking possession of N6billion from Bestworth Insurance Ltd.’s account in Skye Bank, which was meant to pay the “outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), which funds you reasonably ought to have known formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Criminal breach of trust and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (as amended) Act 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”