JUST IN: Ex-minister, Agunloye have been released from prison

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A former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, has been released from the Kuje Correctional Centre after meeting up with his bail condition,  PUNCH Online gathered.

Our correspondent learnt that Agunloye was released on Friday.

The spokesperson for the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Adamu Duza, confirmed this to our correspondent.

Duza said, “Agunloye has been released from the prison after meeting his bail condition. He was released this evening around 5:30pm.”

A Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the remand of Agunloye in Kuje Custodial Centre over a $6 billion Mambilla hydropower contract.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Agunloye before the Federal High Court in Abuja where he pleaded not guilty to the charges read against him.

The judge, however, ordered that the embattled former minister be remanded in Kuje custodial centre pending when bail would be granted.

It will be recalled that the EFCC declared Agunloye wanted in connection with a $6 billion power scheme involving the Mambilla hydropower project.

EFCC alleged that Agunloye, who served as a minister between 1999 and 2003, under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, illegally awarded a contract for the construction of a 3,960 MW Mambilla hydroelectric power station on a build, operate, and transfer basis.

The agency told the court that the contract, which was awarded to Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited, was done without any budgetary provision, approval, or cash backing.

Agunloye was equally alleged to have corruptly received kickback to the tune of N3.6 million from the company he awarded the contract to.

However, the defendant, who had also served as a Minister of State for Defence, pleaded not guilty to the charge when he was docked, even as the court remanded him in Kuje prison pending the decision on his bail application.

The Mambilla hydropower project, initiated in 2003, has been embroiled in legal disputes and allegations of corruption.

Source: PUNCH

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