Former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, has been released from the Kuje Correctional Centre after meeting the requirements for his bail, an official at the prison service has confirmed.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Correctional Service’s Federal Capital Territory Command, Adamu Duza, confirmed Agunloye’s release.
He stated, “Agunloye has been released from the prison after meeting his bail condition. He was released this evening around 5:30 pm.”
The former minister of power and steel had been remanded by the Federal High Court in Abuja due to allegations of fraud.
Agunloye was arrested in December last year and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over accusations of official corruption and forgery in connection with the Mambilla Power Project. The amount in question is estimated to be around N6 billion.
Insiders at the commission revealed that the former minister had skipped bail, which resulted in his detention and subsequent declaration as a wanted person for evading the EFCC’s numerous requests for an interview regarding N6 billion worth of alleged corruption.
Although he denied all charges, Agunloye was arraigned before the court, where he pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
Mr Agunloye served as a minister in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999–2003).
In September, the EFCC revealed that it traced funds associated with Agunloye’s bank accounts for some suspicious payments made by Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has challenged the former minister to explain how he obtained the right to award a $6 billion contract to Sunrise for the Mambilla hydropower project in 2003.
The project, which was initially granted to Sunrise Power and Transmission Limited in 2003 by President Obasanjo’s administration, is the subject of a legal dispute that has been ongoing for several decades. At present, the matter is being arbitrated internationally between the Nigerian government and the company.