Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Lamido, sons granted bail by court.

At the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday granted bail on self-recognisance to a former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, who is being prosecuted along with his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, as well as others for N1.3bn fraud.

Other accused persons, comprising the two sons of the former governor and the fourth co-accused, Aminu Abubakar, were granted bail in the sum of N25m and two sureties each by Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

The other companies arraigned along with them were companies through which they allegedly perpetrated the fraud.

The companies are Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamiana Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminium Limited and Speeds International Limited.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, in its 24 counts preferred against the accused persons, alleged that Lamido used his position as the Governor of Jigawa State between 2007 and 2015 to award contracts to companies in which he and the two sons had interest.

After the proceedings of Tuesday in Abuja, the accused persons were driven out of the court premises back to Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigerian Prisons in Kuje, in a pick-up van with the registration number PS 620 A01 at 6:10pm.

As early as 8am on Thursday, more than 30 policemen had been stationed within and around the court premises apparently to avert a situation where the supporters of the former governor invaded the Kano Division of the court when the accused persons were being arraigned on July 9.

The policemen screened people into the court premises and prevented people from parking their cars in the usual parking spaces around the court premises.

The accused persons were transferred to Kuje Prison from Kano prison, where they were remanded by Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Kano Division of the Federal High Court in Kano upon their arraignment before her court on July 9.

The accused persons were on July 9 arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Anyadike of the Kano Division of the Federal High Court.

But Justice Anyadike had declined to hear the bail applications filed on behalf of the accused persons due to the then imminent court vacation, which was to commence the next day.

The judge had ordered the remand of the accused persons in prison and adjourned till September 28 for commencement of trial.

But the judge had said that the accused persons were at liberty to file their bail applications before a vacation judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The accused persons, through their counsel, Joe Agi (SAN), subsequently approached the vacation judge in the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for their bail.

In granting them bail, Justice Kolawole, dismissed EFCC’s objection to the bail application, holding that the accused persons were presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He added that the EFCC had on its own earlier granted administrative bail to them, a development which he said, showed that the accused persons were not flight risk.

Justice Kolawole ordered the accused persons to meet other conditions, including depositing their travel documents and passport with the court registrar.

The court held that one of the two sureties to be produced by each of the accused persons apart from Lamido, who is not required to produce any must be, at least, Grade Level 16 civil servant in either a federal or state establishment.

The other surety, the judge said, must be an entrepreneur, who must own a property worth N75m, located in Abuja, Kano or Jigawa.AA    Punch

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