Court Grants Shagari, Wali, Others Bail

‎The Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto Thursday granted bail to a former Deputy Governor of Sokoto state, Mukhtari Shagari and Ambassador Abdallah Wali, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in 2015 general elections and three others standing trial over alleged N500m money laundry linked to former Petroleum Minister Diezani Madueke.
Others granted bail include, Ibrahim Gidado, a former Information commissioner, Sokoto State Chairman and Treasurer of PDP, Ibrahim Milgoma and Nasiru Dalhatu Bafarawa.
Justice Saleh Idrissa Kogo granted them bail after their counsel argued bail applications.
The accused are standing trial on a five-count charge bordering on alleged money laundering brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a ruling, Justice Idrissa-Kogo said he considered the bail applications affidavits and all submissions by the defendants and counter affidavits from the prosecution side.
Idrissa-Kogo granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N25m each with two sureties in like sum‎ and ordered that one of the sureties should be a civil servant not below grade level 13.
The Judge said all the alleged offences were bailable as they bordered on issues of money and financial transactions not capital offences.
However, Justice Kogo adjourned the case to July 5, 2028 for hearing.
EFCC through its Counsel, Johnson Ojogbane, had on May 22, this year told the court that the offences bordered on money laundering and cash transaction outside regulated financial institution.
Ojogbane who was represented by Taoufik Lasisi, at the sitting said that the action contravened the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, punishable under section 16 (2) (b) of the act.
According to the charge sheet, the offences were committed in March 2015 and that the N500 million was handed over to the accused by one Abdulrahman Ibrahim.
Earlier in his claims, Counsel to the 1st, 3rd and 4th defendants applicants; Gidado, Dhalhatu and Milgoma, ‎Ibrahim Abdullahi, moved applications for bail of the accused persons.
Abdullhai argued that defendants were on EFCC administrative bail since 2016 without jumping bail and assured to avail themselves throughout the trial period.
He noted that based on the facts filed by the prosecution, investigations have been concluded into the case, as such the defendants would not likely jeopardize any investigation.
Also, Ibrahim Idris and Aiyelabegan Abdulkadiri, counsel to Shagari and Wali, respectively, aligned with Abdullahi’s submission, and added that the court should allow the administrative bail to continue.
However, the EFCC counsel opposed the application on the ground that administrative bail terminated when the accused persons were served with charge sheets and urged the court to follow due processes in respect of High Court procedures.
The judge ordered the six accused persons to be remanded in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions.

Author: News Editor

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