Lamido Gets Free Bail, Three Others Pay N25m Each | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lamido Gets Free Bail, Three Others Pay N25m Each

Posted: Jul 15, 2015 at 1:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo  –  Abuja


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday ended the nightmare of detained former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, as he was admitted to bail virtually free of any conditionality.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole had granted Lamido bail on self-recognition, in the money laundering charge preferred against him and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, together with one Wada Abubakar by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The other three accused persons also secured bail, but in the sum of N25 million each, with two sureties in like sum.

Alhaji Sule Lamido

Alhaji Sule Lamido

The Lamidos and Mustapha had been remanded in the Kano prisons by Justice Evelyn Ayandike of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano, after declining the bail applications brought forward by the counsel to the suspects, Mr. Effiong Effiong, SAN.

Justice Ayandike had also declined the request of Lamido and the other three accused persons to be detained in the EFCC custody, because the commission had said there was no space to keep the high profile suspects in its facilities in Kano and Abuja.

Adjourning the case till September 28, 2015, Justice Ayandike directed that it be referred to a vacation judge who would consider the bail applications.

However, in a similar case early last week, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted former Governor Ihedi Ohakim of Imo State bail, a day after remanding him over corruption charges.

Ohakim was arrested by the EFCC on Tuesday and was arraigned on Wednesday.

He was granted bail in the sum of N270 million, and required to provide  a surety who has landed property in Abuja.

The former governor was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court, and barred from travelling outside the country.

Ohakim is accused of making a cash payment of $2, 290,000.00 (about N270,000,000.00) for the purchase of a property at Plot Number 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, otherwise known as Number 60, Kwame Nkurumah Street, Asokoro in Abuja.

The amount is above the threshold approved for an individual, going by the provisions of Section 1 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004.

Ohakim had pleaded not guilty to the three charges against him.

The Lamidos and others were docked on a 28-count charge of corruption and money laundering brought against them by the EFCC.

The ex-governor is said to have abused his position between 2007 and 2015, when he awarded contracts to companies in which he has interest, using his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha as front.

Justice Anyadike consequently remanded the accused persons in prison custody pending consideration of their bail application and adjourned to September 28, 2015.

Justice Kolawole has, however, reversed the earlier detention order on Lamido on very liberal terms.

The judge further ordered that the international passport and other travel documents of the former governor be deposited with the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar in charge of  Litigations.

For Lamido’s son and Mustapha, however, the court admitted the suspects to bail on the condition that they must produce two sureties, who must be civil servants (Federal or State), either serving or retired, and should not be on less than grade level 16.

The trial judge also said that one of the sureties must be an entrepreneur, who owns a landed property worth more than N75 million in Kano, Jigawa or Abuja, and must show evidence of tax payment, besides submitting the title deeds of the landed property to the registrar of the court.

The travails of the Lamidos began in 2012 when one of his sons, Aminu, aged 36, was arrested by EFCC operatives at the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for failing to declare a sum of $40,000. He was prosecuted and convicted; with 50 per cent of the undeclared sum forfeited to the Federal Government. But the investigation into the source of the funds yielded other revelations upon which the anti-corruption agency had filed the fresh charges of money laundering against members of the former first family of Jigawa state and their cronies.