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Balogun fails to meet bail terms, back in custody

Posted by Tobi Soniyi, Abuja on 2005/04/20 | Views: 388 |

Balogun fails to meet bail terms, back in custody


Former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, returned on Monday to custody following his inability to meet the conditions set by Federal High Court in Abuja which admitted him to bail.

Former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun, returned on Monday to custody following his inability to meet the conditions set by Federal High Court in Abuja which admitted him to bail.

Justice Binta Nyako had granted Balogun’s request for bail on the following four strigent conditions:

• he must produce two sureties who are eminent persons holding national merit awards of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger and above. The two sureties must be worth N50million each, and must have landed properties in Asokoro or Maitama districts of Abuja;

• he must produce four first class traditional rulers spread across the country's geographical zones;

• he must report at the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission once a week; and

• he must surrender his travelling documents, including international passports, to the court's registry.

As at 5pm on Monday, Balogun’s lawyers, led by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) and Dr. Tunji Abayomi, were making frantic efforts to meet the bail terms.

Shortly after the court proceedings, Balogun was taken to another court where he was shielded from pressmen and well-wishers.

In her ruling, Nyako said, "The main purpose of bail is to ensure the attendance of the accused at his trial.

"The offences alleged against the accused is a very serious one, particularly at this stage of our nation's fight against corruption and the desire to cleanse our nation's image internationally.

"The constitution guarantees freedom to all its citizens and presumes them innocent until proven guilty.

"The grant of bail is thus constitutional.

"In particular, bearing in mind that the two sections of the law under which the accused is being charged are both bailable, in that they carry a maximum sentence of three to five years respectively if found guilty.

“Further, nothing has been placed before the court to show that if granted bail, the accused will not attend his trial.

"Be that as it may, I can not close my eyes to the magnitude of the amount involved, the national coverage and implication of the nature of the allegation.

"Accordingly, the accused is granted bail in his self-recognizance on the following conditions…”

At about 4.30pm when it became clear that Balogun was having problems meeting the bail conditions, he was driven back to EFCC for onward transportation to where he was being kept.

Unless the bail conditions are complied with, he will remain in custody.

Speaking with our correspondent, Awomolo was optimistic that the conditions would be met before the close of work .

After the judge had delivered the ruling, Awomolo asked the judge to make an order that Balogun should not be re-arrested by EFCC's men.

He told the court that it had become a practice for the commission to re-arrest suspects already granted bail.

EFCC's counsel, Musleem Hassan, however, expressed surprise at the allegation.

He said the commission had no intention to re-arrest Balogun.

Hassan also asked the judge not to make any order because no formal application had been filed to that effect.

The judge did not make any order, but said that as things stood, Balogun had been admitted to bail and he remained on bail.

He told Balogun's lawyers to report to the court in the event that he was re-arrested.

The case was adjourned till April 28 for hearing.

Meanwhile, Balogun has filed a motion asking for an order quashing the 70 count-charge preferred against him.

The Punch, Tuesday, April 19, 2005

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.