A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Tuesday, admitted a former Governor of Jigawa State Saminu Turaki to a fresh bail in the sum of N500m with two sureties in the sum N250m each.
This was after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arraigned him on a fresh 32-count charge before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
After the charge was read to him he pleaded not guilty.
Counsel to the defendant, Ahmed Raji however in an oral application, prayed the court to grant his client bail on grounds that the defendant is not an ordinary citizen as he had ruled a state for eight years.
Raji cited Section163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), which entitles the defendant to bail unless the court sees the contrary.
He further submitted that the defence was not aware of Tuesday’s arraignment as they would have come with a proper application as the defendant had spent two weeks in detention.
The prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Abubakar however opposed the oral application on ground that Section 163 cited by the defence is more rigid than Section162 of the ACJA.
Mohammed told the court that the defendant was arrested pursuant to a bench warrant issued in September 2014 by Justice Sabi’u Yahuza and that since then, the commission have been making effort to get hold of him without success until July 4.
He added that the bail is to ensure that the defendant attend his trial, if he is released on bail he might not make himself available for the trial and this will defeat our effort.
However, in the fresh bail, the trial Judge, Justice Dimgba held that the sureties should either be a businessman, private person or a civil servant not below the level of Director and must have a landed property in within the FCT or any of the Satellite towns within Abuja.
The Judge added that the sureties must deposit their evidence of tax payment from the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
He further held that the defendant must deposit his travel documents with the court’s registrar and must report to the headquarter of the EFCC every first working day of every month.
Justice Dimgba also held that the defendant should be remanded in Kuje prison pending the perfection of the bail condition.
The court later adjourned the case till September 19, a date which the Federal High Court, Dutse had earlier fixed for trial.
This will be the second time in one week, Turaki will be admitted to bail.
Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court had last Thursday admitted Turaki to bail from the custody of the EFCC with liberal conditions – among others in self recognition.
Justice Halilu granted bail to the ex-governor on conditions which merely required him to submit his travel documents to the registry of the court, produce “two reasonable sureties” residing in Abuja, and sign a register to be opened at the EFCC’s office every two weeks.
But instead of releasing him, the EFCC filed afresh the same set of charges already pending against the defendants before the court in Dutse, Jigawa State.
Turaki was arraigned alongside three companies , INC Natural Resources Ltd, Apel Construction Ltd and WideHeart Construction Ltd over alleged offences bordering on money laundering.
Turaki was first arraigned before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court but had his case later transfered to Justice Sabi’u Yahuza of the Federal High Court, Dutse, Jigawa State, after he objected to the jurisdiction of the court in Abuja.
He was subsequently re-arraigned at the Federal High Court in Dutse on a 32-count charge of misappropriating N36bn while in office.
However after his re-arraignment at Federal High Court Dutse ,Turaki allegedly refused to attend trial a situation which resulted in the Commission declaring him wanted in May, 2013.