Corruption Trial: Court orders Police IG to place ex-PDP chairman under watch in hospital

Haliru Bello Mohammed arrives court on wheelchair

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to place a former acting Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party under intensive watch while he undergoes treatment at an Abuja hospital.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the ruling, Tuesday, after hearing the arguments of various counsel in the criminal charge levelled against Mr. Mohammed and his son, Abba.

The former PDP chairman and his son are facing a four-count charge of financial misappropriation, levelled against them and their company, BAM projects and Properties Ltd, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Both men are part of those indicted in the N31 billion meant for the purchase of arms to fight terror in the country, but which was allegedly distributed to some PDP members for the 2015 election campaign.

Counsel to Abba Mohammed, Ogala Osoka, had made an application asking the court to grant his client bail, pending the determination of the suit.

Mr. Osoka said the application for bail was made on December 29 and filed the following day.

He said the charges levelled against his client were bailable in nature.

“The condition for bail is the applicant’s appearance in court,” Mr. Osoka said.

He told the court that his client’s health condition is bad, and that he had been in custody for 41 days.

He therefore requested the court to grant him bail, with conditions that were not excessive.

The counsel to the former PDP chair, Abdulazeez Ibrahim, also prayed the court to adopt the application of the first defendant for his client.

He told the court that Mr. Mohammed was undergoing surgery in London, but upon discovery of the charges against him and the conditions attached, decided to fly into the country, and even had to be treated at an Abuja clinic, because his surgery was still fresh.

He said exhibits four attached to his affidavit contained a letter given to him (Mr. Mohammed) by the surgeon attending to his case.

He added that there were also pictures of the PDP chieftain while receiving treatment.

But the counsel to the prosecution, Aliyu Yusuf, prayed the court not to grant the bail requested by Mr. Ibrahim, and Mr.Osoka

He said the allegations against the defendants were serious, adding that the first defendant, in his application for bail, did not prove that his health conditions cannot be treated in prison custody.

Citing Section 19, sub section 2b of the EFCC Act, Mr. Yusuf urged the court to consider the character of evidence, as provided by the court, and deny Abba Mohammed bail, stressing that he had the likelihood of interfering with the cause of justice.

He asked the court to issue an order for accelerated hearing.

After listening to the counsel, Justice Mohammed ruled that Abba Mohammed be remanded in Kuje prison.

He also ruled that since Mr. Haliru Mohammed indicated in his affidavit the status of his health, he should be placed under the care of the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, while undergoing treatment.

The matter was adjourned till January 7, 2016.

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