Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday granted bail to a former Nigerian senator, Shehu Sani, in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum.
Mr Sani, who represented Kaduna Central in the last Senate, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, on a two-count charge bordering on alleged bribery.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Count One of the charges reads: That you, Shehu Sani on or about the 20th of November 2019, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Fifteen Thousand United States of America Dollars (USD 15.000.00) cash from Alhajj Sani Dauda (ASD) under the false pretence that the money was meant to bribe four (4) Judges and a Prosecutor, pursuant to your discussion with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), during which he informed you that he has directed the four Judges not to hear any case between Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD) and Abubakar Musa, which representation you knew to be false, contrary to and punishable under section 1(1) and (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006.
The former lawmaker was arrested in December, for allegedly “collecting $25,000″ in the name of the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
Bail Application ruling
Moving Mr Sani’s bail application, his lawyer, Abdul Ibrahim, asked the court to grant his client bail.
Mr Ibrahim added that Mr Sani would not interfere with the witnesses that would be called in the case.
The lawyer also asked the court to consider that Mr Sani would need to take care of his family, businesses and prepare adequately for trial.
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The EFCC’s lawyer, Abba Mohammed, on his part, while opposing, said there is a high probability that the former senator will interfere with witnesses in the case.
Mr Mohammed urged the court to refuse Mr Sani’s bail request.
Ruling on the bail application on Monday, Justice Ekwo held that the prosecution did not show good reasons why the defendant should not be admitted to bail.
Granting the former senator the N10m bail bond, the judge ordered Mr Sani to produce a responsible surety who has a landed property that is worth the bail sum.
The register of the court is to verify the authenticity of the landed property.
He ordered the defendant to submit his international passport to the court.
According to the judge, Mr Sani must not travel outside Nigeria without obtaining permission from the court.
“N10 million with one surety, the surety should be an owner of a landed property within the jurisdiction of this court.
“Registry of this court should verify the property.
“The defendant should deposit his valid international passport.
“The defendant should remain in EFCC custody pending the fulfilment of his bail.
The matter has been adjourned to February 24, for the commencement of trial.