Justice A.I. Kutigi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Gwagwalada, Abuja on Monday 27th January, 2020 adjourned hearing on the trial of former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Bello Adoke, and others to Thursday for ruling on their bail applications.
Adoke (first defendant) along with six others were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 23uaryJanuary, 2020 before Justice Kutigi on amended 42-count charges to which they pleaded not guilty, thus setting the stage for their trial.
At Monday’s sitting, prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, told the court that the matter was for the hearing of the defendant’s bail application following, which counsel to Adoke, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), informed the court that the defence had filed application for Adoke’s bail.
Ozekhome said, “We have also filed two critical documents to show that the defendant will not jump bail. We also urge the court to grant him bail based on his health condition. We humbly urge the court to grant him bail.”
Counsel to Aliyu Abubakar (second defendant), Wole Olanipekun (SAN), also urged the court to grant bail to the defendant. Olanipekun said, “One of the exhibits did not show that he ran away. He was not deported. He was not extracted. He bought his own ticket back to Nigeria on his own. We urge the court to exercise discretion to grant him bail.”
Similarly, counsel to Mr. Rasky Gbinigie (third defendant), also urged the court to grant him bail.
He said, “The applicant has been under investigation for 13 years and he has never failed his invitation.
“He is also a member of the profession (law). He has spent 35 years in this profession and it is unfortunate that he found himself in the dock.”
Sanga while opposing Adoke’s bail application, noted that no case of ill health had been proven by the defendant, more so, that Adoke did not voluntarily return to the country but extradited by Interpol.
He said, “We have a counter-affidavit dated 24th January, 2020 and filed on the same date.
“It is 11 paragraphs, deposed to by Ahmed Ibrahim, an officer of the EFCC. The contention is that no ill health had been proven. We have exhibit EF1 and EF2 and the point is that it is the Interpol that handed him over to us.
“Interpol said we should come and collect him, so how come he returned on his own?”
The prosecution counsel equally opposed the bail applications of the second and third defendants, both of whom he told the court that the prosecution had respectively filed a 10 paragraph counter-affidavit to their applications dated 24th January, 2020 and filed on the same date.
Justice Kuitigi adjourned the matter until Thursday for ruling on the bail applications.