The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned former Jigawa Gov. Sule Lamido, his two sons, and five others before Justice B.O. Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Mr. Lamido, his sons, Aminu and Mustapha, were on re-arraigned alongside Aminu Abubakar, Batholomew Agoha and three companies on an amended 43-count charge bordering on money laundering and illegal diversion of public funds.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Justice Quadri admitted Mr. Lamido to bail in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum while his sons and the other defendants were admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million each and two sureties each in like sum.
He said that sureties for Mr. Lamido must have landed property not encumbered and depose to an affidavit that they were willing to forfeit the property to the Federal Government should he breech his bail condition.
The sureties for the other defendants must be civil servants in any ministry from grade level 15 and above, who must present their tax clearance certificate for the last three years.
They must also have more years in service and produce a letter from the heads of their various ministries that they have no criminal record and have never been indicted before.
Other conditions of the bail include that the EFCC, which is the prosecuting agency, must verify the addresses of the sureties.
The judge ordered the defendants to also deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court and must not, under any circumstance, travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
Justice Quadri ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody, if they failed to perfect their bail conditions within two months from the day of arraignment.
Earlier, the counsel to Mr. Lamido, Offiong Offiong, had prayed the court to allow the defendants to continue on the previous bail conditions granted them by Justices Gabriel Kolawale and Adeniyi Ademola.
But the prosecuting counsel, Chile Okoromma, objected on grounds that the charge against the defendants was new.
He argued that what happened before the previous judges was “dead and in the past”.
Mr. Lamido and his co-accused had been arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court, Kano State, on July 9, for allegedly misappropriating funds belonging to Jigawa.
Their case was later transferred to the Federal High Court, Abuja, where Justice Gabriel Kolawole, a vacation judge, granted them bail, and adjourned the matter to Sept. 22, 2015.
The matter was then assigned to Justice Adeniyi Ademola but following his arrest and prosecution by the Department of State Services, the matter was transferred to Justice Quadri.
Following the acquittal of Mr. Ademola, Mr. Offiong prayed the court to transfer the matter back to Ademola on grounds that 18 witness had already testified.
Mr. Okoroma objected on grounds that the lead counsel for Lamido, Joe Agi, was tried along side Ademola for corruption-related offences.
He said that it would be wrong for Mr. Agi to defend a case before Mr. Ademola because the public perception would be that the judge was biased, which ever way the verdict went.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999