Nigeria Looking to Lock-Up Bankole Pending Trial

Posted June 10th, 2011 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Nigeria's anti-corruption agency wants to keep the nation's former House speaker in jail until he can face trial for corruption.

Dimeji Bankole is facing 16 counts for misappropriating an estimated $60 million from the government's coffers.

He appeared in court for a bail hearing Friday and will remain in jail until Monday when the hearing continues.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said it would oppose any request for bail because it is clear Bankole has no intention of standing trial willingly.

Nigerian authorities arrested Bankole Sunday following a four-hour stand-off at his home in Abuja. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during a court appearance Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Bankole took part in fund-diversion schemes that inflated the cost for government computers, printers and television sets.

He is also charged with rigging a bid to buy luxury cars.

A spokesman for Bankole told the Associated Press the former parliamentary speaker did not resist arrest and has no plans to flee the country.

Newly-elected president Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to rid Nigeria of the corruption that has plagued the country for decades.