Cubana Chief Priest Gets N10m Bail

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted bail to Cubana Chief Priest charged with alleged Naira abuse in the sum of N10 million.

The businessman, Pascal Okechukwu, a.k.a Cubana Chief Priest was granted bail on Wednesday.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned the defendant on a three-count charge of allegedly spraying and tampering with the Naira notes during a social event at Eko hotel in Lagos.
When the case was called Mrs Bilikisu Buhari, appeared for the prosecution while Mr. Chikaosolu Ojukwu, SAN, appeared for Cubana. 
Ojukwu, first informed the court of a preliminary objection challenging its jurisdiction as well as a bail application filed on behalf of the defendant.
He told the court that the prosecution was not opposed to same.
However, after the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
In moving the bail application of the defendant, Ojukwu urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms, following his health condition, adding that due to his weight, the defendabt suffers palpitation
Besides, he told the court that the offence with which the defendant is charged is a misdeamenour and that the prescribed punishment ranges from a fine of N50,000 or an imprisonment term of six months.
He, then, urged the court to grant bail on very liberal terms to the defendant as he is a first offender with no past criminal records .
Counsel further told the court that the defendant was an employer of labour with over 1000 employees on his payroll, who were dependent on their jobs, and 
consequently, urged the court to grant his application as moved
Responding, the prosecutor said she will leave the issue of bail to the discretion of the court.
Delivering judgment afterwards, Justice Kehinde Ogundare granted the defendant bail in the sum of 10 million with two sureties in like sum
The court noted that both sureties must be civil servants of level 16, adding that one of the surety must be the owner of a landed property within jurisdiction.
The court also ordered thee defendant to submit his international passport to the court’s registry, noting that the bail condition must be perfected within seven days .
The court ordered the defence counsel to produce the defendant for perfection of his bail conditions within stipulated time. otherwise, the defendant will be sent to the custody of Nigerian correctional service and adjiourned the case until May 2, for hearing of the preliminary objection.
According to the charge, Cubana was said to have tampered with the funds in the denomination of N500, while dancing at a social event in Eko hotel, contrary to the provisions of section 21(1) of the Central Bank Act of 2007.
The EFCC had on April 5, 2024, secured the conviction of popular cross-dresser Idris Okuneye, alias Bobrisky, on similar charges for which he was sentenced to six-month imprisonment without option of fine.