Justice Yusuf Halilu of a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Abuja on Monday granted the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, former clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa bail.
Saraki, Ekweremadu, former clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and the Deputy Clerk, Benedict Efeturi are facing charges of alleged criminal conspiracy and forgery of the senate standing rules, 2015. The charges were brought against them by the Federal Government.
The prosecutor, Joseph Daodu had filed an application before the Halilu-led court seeking that the accused persons be denied bail because they may tamper with the course of investigation and may likely jump bail.
But counsel to the first accused person, Salisu Maikasuwa, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu argued that there was need to admit his client bail because his client conducted himself properly all through the investigation.
He said, “All through his investigation, he was never detained, and he also made himself available for investigation.”
Ezechukwu urged the court to dismiss the application of the prosecution and grant his client bail on self recognition.
Counsel to the 3rd defendant, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Paul Erokoro, SAN, contended that the affidavits filed by the prosecution “never made mention of Saraki and the police in the course of its investigation and the police never invited him for questioning.
“It’s a fact that my client who has being standing trial at the CCT for more than one year will not run away.”
Erokoro prayed the court to admit Saraki bail on the ground of self recognition as he will not run away.
Diri, however, stated that the prosecution was not opposing the bail application of Saraki because it may affect his official duties as the Senate President.
He, however, opposed “vehemently” the bail application of the other accused persons because the “charges against them are devious which if they are convicted may attract a prison term of 14 years.”
Diri contended that others, apart from the Senate President if granted bail may evade trial.
On this ground, Diri urged the court to discountenance the bail application of the first, second and fourth defendant.
Justice Halilu in his ruling granted all accused persons bail.
“Considering the submission of the counsels of the accused person, I allow all the accused persons to go home.
“They shall present two reasonable surities who should be Nigerian, owned landed properties in Asokoro, maitama, Wuse 2 and Garki.
“If they fail to meet the bail condition, they shall be remanded in Kuje prison.”
The judge consequently adjourned the matter till July 11 for continuation of tria