Monday, 21 December 2015

Bail Application: Dasuki, Bafarawa, Others Get Bail

An Abuja High Court has granted bail to a former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki and four others, but the accused persons will be remanded in prison until their bail conditions are perfected.

The judge presiding over the case, Peter Affen in his ruling said all cases against the accused persons are bailable.

“The point to underscore is that all the charges against all accused persons are extremely bailable,” Affen said.

He stressed the implications of “shall” in the court using its discretion in the granting of bail as stipulated in section 156 of the criminal justice act. He said the proof against the persons reveal that investigations on the said case has been substantially concluded.

“It does not seem to me that granting bail to the accused persons will interfere with anymore investigation,” he said.

He also added that no material have been placed before him that suggests that any of the accused persons have been convicted of any crime. He said he finds himself unable to rely on the “assumptions” of the prosecution to refuse the accused bail. Quoting authorities he added that he does not see any reason why the fifth defendant will not be allowed to have access to an orthodox, native treatment to ailments that has defiled all scientific and medical help.

Affen said: “Until an accused is proved guilty, they have every right to move about freely and breathe our Nigerian fresh air as they please.”

Conditions for bail for the accused persons include: the first, second, third, fourth and fifth accused person was granted bail on N250 million and shall produce two sureties each.

The sureties, residents within the jurisdiction of the court and must be a director of the federal civil service or retired as same. Defendants will deposit travel document to the court or a written undertaking by the court if the defendant has due to other charges deposited the documents before another court.

The defendant shall be remanded in kuje prisons, Abuja until the bail conditions are perfected and an order given by the court. Counsels to the accused persons, Ahmed Raji and others had asked the court to grant bail to the accused persons on very liberal terms pending the determination and hearing of the criminal charge against them.

They also noted that the allegations were merely based on speculations. They also urged the court to make an order that invitation for further interrogation shall be between 9 am and 6 pm.

Here is what Femi Fani-Kayode had to say after the today’s proceedings ending (the article continues below):

But the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs had argued that while the accused persons voluntarily honoured invitations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) there ispossibility that they may jump bail having realized the magnitude of evidence gathered by the commission.

The accused persons including a former governor of Sokoto state, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Dalhatu Bafarawa; former minister of state for finance, Bashiru Yuguda and the ex-director of finance and administration at the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Shuaibu Salisu were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 22-count charge.

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They had all pleaded not guilty to all the charges bordering on money laundering and criminal abuse of public trust. The are also alleged to have dishonestly received stolen property and misappropriated money entrusted to them at different times.

The charges said some of the monies were used to acquire various property worth N3.35 billion, N500 million, N100 million, N783 million, N100 million, N400 million, N1.1 billion, N200 million, N1.95 billion, N1.675 billion, N4.633 billion, N5.1 billion respectively, approximately totalling N19.2 billion. The monies were released from the accounts of the ONSA between January and March 2015.

The court also ordered that in case od further investigations or interrogation, the accused persons would be invited by the commission between 9am and 6pm and must be allowed to return to their homes the same day. The case is further Adjourned to February 2 and 3.