Posted by By GODWIN TSA and MWUESE KORGBA Abuja on
The Federal High Court will on January 31 this year decide whether or not to review the bail conditions slammed on former governor of Jigawa State , Senator Saminu Turaki. But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised alarm alleging that Turaki is planning to flee the country as a result of the trial.
... It’s a lie –Counsel
The Federal High Court will on January 31 this year decide whether or not to review the bail conditions slammed on former governor of Jigawa State , Senator Saminu Turaki.
But the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised alarm alleging that Turaki is planning to flee the country as a result of the trial.
The former governor, who is standing trial for money laundering to the tune of over N36 billion, was granted bail by justice Binta Nyako in August last year in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in the like sum.
The sureties, according to Justice Nyako, must be owners of landed property in Maitama or Asokoro and must show their Tax Clearance Certificate for three years duly certified by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Some of the conditions were that he should deposit his Certificate of Return issued to him by INEC when he won election as a Senator in the last April general election to the court, including his international passports. In addition, the court also ordered him to depose to an affidavit on oath, stating all countries he has citizenship.
But Turaki, who considered the conditions as harsh has brought an application for the review of the conditions, particularly the release of his international passport to enable him travel to Singapore for medical attention.
He told the court that with the seizure of his international passports, he has not been able to participate in legislative functions at the National Assembly, saying that despite his non-participation in legislative activities, he receives salary.
Moving the application, Counsel to Turaki, Muminu Hanafi said that the former governor has not been able to perform the lesser hajj due to the seizure of his international passport.
His words: “The accused is expected to travel out of the country to perform legislative duties as a Senator representing his zone. The bail conditions inhibit the performance of legislative functions of the accused.
“A clear demonstration of this is revealed in the letter from the office of the Clerk of the Senate which required the applicant to submit his international passport for the processing of visa because he has been nominated as a delegate to represent the Senate at the Chambers of Commerce and Industry meeting. The accused can’t be collecting salary for the work he did not do.”
He added that since the accused was granted bail, nothing has shown that he had attempted to jump bail.
However, counsel to the EFCC, Bisi Adeniyi, has raised objections to the application on the ground that Turaki would abscond if his request is granted.
Justice Binta Murtala Nyako after listening to the submission adjourned ruling in the application till January 31, 2008.
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