Immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), has been granted bail on fresh money laundering charges.
He was granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja, earlier today.
The second defendant, Aliyu Abubakar, was also granted bail.
Justice Binta Nyako imposed the same terms and conditions of the bail they were earlier granted by Justice Idris Kutigi of the Gwagwalada Division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on January 30.
Justice Kutigi had granted each of the men N50m bail with a surety, each.
Adopting the same conditions on Monday, Justice Nyako directed that the defendants should deposit their passport with the FCT High Court.
Defence lawyers – Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and Mr. Olalekan Ojo(SAN), who said their clients had already met the bail conditions, pleaded with the court to make a specific order barring the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from re-arresting them once the release order is served on the commission.
The judge said such order would not be necessary as there would be no basis for their rearrest or continued detention once the court’s release order is served.
Adoke and Abubakar had earlier pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of making payments of dollar equivalent of about N600m in violation of money laundering law.
The prosecution, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, alleged that they committed the offences in September 2013.
The judge fixed April 1 and 2 for trial, The Punch reported.
Mohammed Adoke, Nigeria’s ex-Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, (SAN), on Monday, said he preferred to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre to the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mike Ozekhome (SAN), spoke on Adoke’s behalf shortly after he was arraigned on fresh money laundering charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
Adoke was arraigned alongside Aliyu Abubakar, who was accused of paying dollar equivalent of N300m in Adoke’s account in September 2013 in violation of the Money Laundering Act.
Ozekhome was arguing his client’s bail application when he noted that his client was produced in court by the EFCC from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabi, Abuja, where he had been admitted for treatment.
After the defendants took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand them in the custody of the EFCC pending when their bail applications would be heard and determined. NobleReporters learnt
The defence lawyers immediately noted that they already filed their bail applications and had been responded to by the prosecution.
Ozekhome appealed to the the court to grant bail to Adoke in liberal and affordable terms and conditions, saying that his client would prefer to be remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre, instead of the custody of the EFCC.
“The first defendant voluntarily returned to the country. There is his statement attached to show that he returned to the country voluntarily. He did not run away. We have attached an exhibit to show that he went for his Masters’ study abroad.
“We have deposed to the affidavit about his health conditions. The prosecution themselves brought him to court from the Federal Medical Centre near Jabib in Abuja, this morning. We also plead that he be taken to the Kuje Correction Centre, a euphemism for Kuje prison pending when he meets his bail conditions to avoid the mental psychological strictures he goes through in the custody of the EFCC.
“My lord we pray that he be granted bail in liberal and affordable terms and conditions so that he can take care of himself. The law says, ‘come and stand trial’, it did not say ‘come and sit trial or come and prostate trial. My lord as you can see, the first defendant who is less than 60 is already bent with age,” he said.