A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the fourth defendant over charges of alleged forgery of the Nigerian Senate Standing Rules.
The federal capital territory (FCT) high court has granted bail to the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and two other accused persons — Salisu Maikasuwa, former clerk of the national assembly, and Benedict Efeturi, deputy clerk, by Justice Yusuf Haliru
?The judge held that the essence of bail was to enable an accused person to stand trial, adding that the accused persons had not been proved guilty, hence the need to release them on bail.
He however ordered that the defendants were to provide two reasonable sureties who must be Nigerians and who must own property in Abuja, the failure of which they would be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja.
The senate preident’s counsel, ?Paul Erokoro, had asked the court to grant his client bail on self-recognition, adding that Saraki, being senate president, was ‘too big’ to run away from trial.
“The entire proof of service did not mention the third defendant (Saraki) in this case. The police never investigated the third defendant. It is a notorious fact that the third defendant has been standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, (CCT) so it is ridiculous to say he will run away.
“He is the president of the senate, where will he run to? He is too big to hide.? I urge your lordship to grant him bail on self-recognition.”
Making his submission, Joseph Daodu, counsel to Ekweremadu, also prayed the court to grant his? client bail on self-recognition. “The third and fourth (Ekweremadu) defendants are number one and two citizens of the legislature. It is shameful we are denting our democracy this way.
“We are ready for trial even today, so we urge your lordship to grant? the fourth defendant bail,” he said.
Also, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, counsel to Maikasuwa, asked the court to grant his client bail, saying that he was ready to stand trial. “The essence of bail is to secure the attendance of the defendant. Throughout the period of investigation the defendant ?was never detained.
“Attendance to court is the primary objective of bail.? We urge the court to grant the application,” he said.
While on his own part, Mahmud Magagi, counsel to Efeturi, asked the court to grant him bail on liberal terms.”This application is seeking an order admitting the second defendant to bail pending the determination of the case.
“We urge your lordship to grant the second accused person bail on liberal terms,” he said.