Abati Still In EFCC Custody, Unable To Meet Bail Conditions

Five days after he was arrested, a former presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, is still in custody because he is unable to satisfy his bail conditions, PREMIUM TIMES understands. Mr. Abati, a columnist, was arrested on Monday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on allegations of financial impropriety to the tune of N50…”
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October 29, 2016 7:03 pm

Five days after he was arrested, a former presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, is still in custody because he is unable to satisfy his bail conditions, PREMIUM TIMES understands.

Mr. Abati, a columnist, was arrested on Monday by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on allegations of financial impropriety to the tune of N50 million.

When operatives questioned him about how he spent the funds, Mr. Abati reportedly said he disbursed it to media practitioners in his capacity as the spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

But he said he did not keep records of the disbursement when queried for evidence.

The journalist was subsequently granted an administrative bail that requires presenting a senior federal civil servant —preferably a director— with landed properties in Abuja.

“He will be released when he meets his bail conditions,” a source within the EFCC informed PREMIUM TIMES Friday.

Also in EFCC custody is Bala Mohammed, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, who was taken into custody shortly after Mr. Abati’s arrest on Monday.

But Mr. Mohammed’s case is said to be more complicated, and he may not be released anytime soon.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the EFCC has procured a remand order from a court to hold Mr. Mohammed for a while.

He faces allegations of land racketeering which EFCC said came in several petitions from citizens who dealt with Mr. Mohammed while he was a minister.

Mr. Mohammed was said to have sold government land to private individuals and received pay for the transaction in cash. PREMIUM TIMES could not independently verify those allegations claims.

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