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Former SSHFC boss granted bail

May 24, 2011, 12:36 PM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The former managing director of Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC), Edward Graham, was yesterday granted court bail by the Banjul Magistrates' Court presided over by acting-Principal Magistrate Alagba.

Graham, who denied the charges, was charged with abuse of office and economic crimes.

He was granted bail on count one and asked to deposit title deeds worth of D1.5 million and, on count two, he was granted court bail of D1.5 million with one Gambian surety who must swear to an affidavit of means.

When the case was called, defence counsel Ebrima Jah told the court that the defence had filed a motion dated 20 May 2011, and that it was served to the prosecution on the same day.

He pointed out that the motion was supported by a 23-paragraph affidavit sworn to by one Isatou Alwar, a lawyer and a public officer.

He said the defence was relying on all the paragraphs, especially paragraphs 13 and 17 of the affidavit.

"The state could not just say they are merely opposing the bail without tangible reasons or grounds to do so," he added.

He, therefore, urged the court to grant bail to the accused person, as required by the law.

In response, the Director of Public Prosecutions, M. Abdullahi, told the court that the state was unable to file the affidavit in opposition.

"We are not opposing the bail as bail is at the discretion of the court," he said, citing the Nigerian law reports to support his submission.

He said if the court considers granting bail to the accused under section 5 of economic crimes decree, it is specific that a bond of D1 million should be deposited with the court before granting bail.

He noted that section 8 of economic crimes decree also indicates that if the accused person was to be granted bail there should be deposit of D1 million and title deeds to be deposited to the court.

 The accused person was subsequently granted bail on the above conditions.

The case continues today.