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Four ‘whistleblowers’ get N3m bail

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A Bayelsa State High Court has granted bail to four “whistleblowers” being prosecuted by the police on the complaint of Governor Seriake Dickson.

The police charged the defendants – Esther Engbeke,  Wodu Ebikebomu, Emmanuel Dorgu and Sinclair Thursday – with conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

The fifth defendant, Tamnatonye Jacob, had earlier got a N2m bail.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that a police investigator, Inspector Ekpang Columba, who testified as a prosecution witness, stated that the police got a complaint from Dickson’s Special Assistant on Domestic Matters that the defendants attempted to rob his principal.

Columba, who gave his testimony on December 12 last year, told the court that Dickson’s aide complained that “the suspects were targeting the place where the governor stashes cash; that is the subject of the complaint.”

The police inspector, however, said no weapon was found on the accused when they were arrested.

While denying the armed robbery allegation, the defendants claimed that their mission was not to rob but to blow the whistle on Dickson pursuant to the Federal Government’s whistleblower policy, where anyone who exposes diverted funds would be rewarded by government.

On Wednesday, Justice E.T. Okara on granted N3m bail to each of the defendants, who had been remanded in the prison custody since their arrest in May last year.

Justice Okara ordered  the four defendants to each produce one surety who must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 12.

He, thereafter, adjourned the case till May 20, for continuation of defence.

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