A former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to vacate an order made to continue his alleged money laundering trial in absentia.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Okon Abang, had on November 18, 2020 ordered that Maina’s trial would continue in his absence after he jumped bail and refused to attend trial until he was later arrested in Niger Republic and extradited back to Nigeria to continue his trial.
At the resumed trial, Maina’s lawyer moved an application praying the court to set aside both orders made by the court considering the fact that the defendant has been brought back to face trial.
The prosecutor, Mohammed Abubakar however objected to the application on the ground that setting aside the trial in absentia order is “tantamount to setting aside all the proceeding conducted by this court in the absence of the first defendant.”
The court also made an order remanding the defendant in prison pending the conclusion of the trial.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Maina for alleged money laundering to the tune of N2 billion.
The bail application filed by Omoyele Sowore and four others has again suffered a temporary setback.
The application suffered a setback, this time, following the failure of the Nigeria Police Force to produce the defendants in Court.
In an interview with journalists on Friday at the Chief Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, the lawyer to the Defendants, Marshal Abubakar said the Police claim to have handed the case file to a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police for further prosecution.
He explains that the DIG who was called to produce the Defendants claimed to have handed the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution on the instruction of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
Sowore and the other defendants are standing trial for alleged criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and inciting public disturbance.
A Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja had earlier on Tuesday fixed today, January 8, for ruling on the bail application filed on behalf of Sowore and four others.
Chief Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello was expected to rule on the bail application today.
The court also on Tuesday ordered the defendants to be remanded at the Force CIID facility in Area 10, following complaints by Sowore that they were denied food and medical attention at the Kuje Correctional Centre.
The hearing of the bail application filed on behalf of Omoyele Sowore has suffered a temporary setback.
The bail application suffered a setback on Tuesday after the prosecutor, Adama Musa, opposed the hearing of the application on the ground that Sowore was served with the application by 10.43 a.m. today in court contrary to the order of the court for the service to be effected on him before 4.00 p.m. yesterday.
The Prosecutor informed the court that he needs time to go through the application to enable him to respond appropriately.
The judge also on Monday remanded Senator Ndume in prison until he produces Maina or pay the sum of N500million bail bond to the Federation Account.
Senator Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, had on Tuesday filed an appeal against the remand order at the Court of Appeal, along with an application for the bail of the defendant filed before Justice Abang.
The judge, in the course of the trial in the absence of Maina, on Wednesday, acknowledged the bail application filed by Senator Ndume’s lawyer.
He said the bail application was brought to his attention at about 8.58 am today, and he immediately directed that the matter be fixed for hearing on Thursday.
He also said he had directed that hearing notice for Thursday’s proceedings be issued and served on the parties.
Although Senator Ndume’s lawyer was not present in court, EFCC’s counsel, Mohammed Abubakar confirmed that he has been served with the hearing notice.
A Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos State has commenced the hearing of the bail application by the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Maurice Iwu.
The bail application is currently being heard by Justice Chuka Obiozor, at the end of which the former INEC boss would know whether or not he will be released from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Professor Iwu is facing four charges of concealment, fraud and money laundering to the tune of N1.2bn, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
At the resumed hearing on Monday last week, Falana told Justice Khobo that his clients were not in court due to their bad health condition.
He said the health condition of his clients was getting worse by the day, adding that only a foreign medical treatment was required to stabilise them to enable them face the main trial.
On his part, the prosecuting counsel Debris Bayero opposed the bail application, saying El-Zakzaky’s medical condition can be treated in the country.
He informed the court that there was no need to release the Shiites’ leader on bail to travel abroad.
El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing an eight-count of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace.
The charges were filed against them by the Kaduna State Government and the duo were first arraigned in May 2018.
Ahead of today’s sitting, the Kaduna State Police Command gave assurance that adequate security measures have been put in place to ensure a hitch-free court process.
It also vowed to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who deliberately attempt to violate the ban on all forms of processions and demonstrations across the state.
According to the command, there will be traffic diversion in some areas during the court session, including Independence Way, Bida Road and all other roads leading to Ibrahim Taiwo Road where the court is located.
The police urged the residents to remain calm and not to be apprehensive where they observe unusual number of security personnel in the town.
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has adjourned the trial of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, to January 18 and 23, 2017.
The Supreme Court Justice, is standing trial for corruption, alleged money laundering, breach of professional ethics and passport forgery related offenses.
The adjournment followed an application by the counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Chief Kanu Agabi, who told the court that he needed more time to prepare for trials as some documents given to him by the prosecution still needed to be studied.
This did not go down well with the prosecutor who urged the court to turn down the application.
However, trial judge, Justice John Tsoho delivered his ruling in favour of the defendant, Ngwuta, on the ground that section 36 of the constitution allows a defendant time to prepare for his defense.
He also added that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, also allows parties in a suit to at least five request for adjournment, afterwhich he adjourned the case.
Justice Ngwuta is one of the justices arrested and detained by the department of state services on October 8, 2016 for corruption and breach of professional ethics.
In November, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta had entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges leveled against him by the federal government.
He was also been granted bail in the sum of 100 million Naira on self-recognition.
Justice Baba Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court 4, has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to release the former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed on bail.
The erstwhile Minister had been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since October 24, 2016 when he honoured the invitation of commission.
The Court granted him bail with two sureties who must have landed property within the Abuja Municipality with Certificate of Occupancy.
In granting the application for bail filed by the lead counsel to Mr Mohammed, Chris Uche, the High Court took a swipe at the EFCC for manifesting contradictions and for lying under oath with the depositions in the counter affidavit it filed challenging the bail application.
The court adjourned the matter till December 14, 2016 for the hearing of the substantive suit for the enforcement of the fundamentalist rights of the former minister.
Justice Sylvester Ngwuta has entered a not guilty plea to the 15-count charges of money laundering, breach of professional ethics and forgery leveled against him by the federal government.
He has also been granted bail in the sum of 100 million naira on self-recognition.
When the charges were read to him, the Supreme Court judge told the court that he was not guilty of the 15 counts.
Attempt by his lawyer to ask for bail was opposed by the prosecutor, Mr Adeogun Philips who said he had just been served and would need a short adjournment to respond.
With no objection by the defence lawyers, the trial judge, Justice James Tsoho, stood down the case by two hours.
On resumption of hearing on the bail application, counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Kanu Agabi asked the court to release the defendant on self-recognizance, taking judicial notice of the fact that he is a justice of the Supreme Court and the fact that he has been on administrative bail since on October 8, 2016.
Opposing the application, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Charles Philips, said that the defendant cannot be granted bail with respect to his position.
Mr Philips, who referred to charges number three and charges numbers 10-16 against Justice Ngwuta, informed the tribunal that barely 20 minutes after he was released on administrative bail, Justice Ngwuta gave instructions to a witness in the case to remove two or three bags containing 27 million naira from his bathroom at his residence in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.
The prosecuting counsel also told the court that Justice Nwguta also instructed the said witness to remove three exotic cars from his residence on the same day and that they are nowhere to be found. That is what forms the subject of charge number three.
Speaking further he informed the court that in the course of investigation, the Department of State Services (DSS) discovered that Justice Ngwuta maintained multiple identities.
According to him Justice Ngwuta had four passports which he used concurrently.
Although he had reported two of those passports missing, he argued that in any jurisdiction in the world, if a person possesses several identities he cannot be released on self-recognizance.
He therefore asked the court not to grant bail but if it is inclined to, it should grant bail in the most stringent terms.
Reacting to the counter application, counsel to Justice Ngwuta, Mr Kanu Agabi, told the court that he was not willing to join issues with the prosecutor because he had gone into the substantive suit which is not allowed by law and that the constitution is clear as to when bail should be granted or not.
He added that should the court reach its conclusion based on the prosecutor’s submissions, verdict would have been decided before the case is started.
Having listen to both parties, the trial judge, Justice John Tsoho stood down the matter for ruling at 2:30PM.
On resumption, Justice John Tsoho granted bail to Justice Sylvester Ngwuta in the sum of 100 million naira on self-recognizance.
According to Justice Tsoho though the prosecution sought to impress the court on the defendants’ unworthiness for bail, it failed to show that in spite of the concerns raised, the defendant had his administrative bail revoked.
He also added that it is no secret that the security agencies are watching every move made by the judge with kin interest, which is how they found that he had multiple passports.
As such the prosecution should rely on the same security apparatus to prevent any attempt not to be available for trial.
He added that it would be great injustice to prevent any citizen from enjoying bail in available offence.
According to Justice Tsoho, it is on record that the prosecution had filed an affidavit of completion of investigation and on the other hand it is raising objections that witnesses and evidence will be tampered with.
The prosecution, he said, should be able to maintain consistency rather than the inconsistencies.
Justice Tsoho then went on to say that there is no evidence before the court that Justice Ngwuta would not be available for his trial and because the offence for which he is standing trial is bailable, he is inclined to grant bail.
Trial has been fixed for December 7 and 8.
Justice Ngwuta was one of the seven judges arrested after a DSS raid on the homes of High Court and Supreme Court judges across the country on October 8, 2016.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has deferred till Monday, in the bail application filed by the founding Chairman of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who heard the bail application, said that he could not give ruling immediately because the processes filed by the parties in the suit were presented before him on Thursday.
Justice Kolawole said that he needed to study and assimilate the processes before reaching a decision on the bail application.
He subsequently ordered that Mr Dokpesi be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) till December 14.
In his argument, Counsel to the Daar Communication boss, Mike Ozhohome, argued that the offences for which his client was standing trial were bailable offences.
He noted that Mr Dokpesi should be granted bail on self-recognizance or in the most liberal terms.
The Counsel to the EFCC rejected the application for bail on the grounds that he had allegedly uncovered the receipt of over 8.7 billion Naira from the Federal Government for the hosting rights of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2012 by Mr Dokpesi.