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Forgery: Saraki, Ekweremadu, others Granted Bail

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ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Senate President Bukola Saraki, his Deputy Ike Ekweremadu, former National Assembly (NASS) Clerk, his Deputy Salisu Maikasuwa and Benedict Efeturi respectively have been granted bail by court on self-recognition over allegation of forgery.

They were granted bail Monday by Justice Yusuf Haliru, of Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

Saraki, Ekweremadu and two other suspects are facing trial over allegation of forging NASS Standing rule to manipulate the process that resulted to their July 9, 2016 election as the Chairman and Deputy of the Federal Legislative Chamber respectively.

While noting that the essence of bail was to enable the defendants stand the trial, Justice Haliru ordered each of the four suspects to provide two sureties, who must be Nigerians and owners of properties in Abuja.

He, however held that the defendants would be remanded in Kuje Prisons if they failed to meet the bail conditions.

The ruling was against the background of the prayer by the third defendant – Saraki, whose Counsel, Paul Erokoro pleaded court to release his client on self-recognition.

It was a similar plea by Ekwremadu’s Counsel Mr. Joseph Daodu (SAN).

Maikasuwa’s counsel, requested the court to grant his client bail, with the pledge that the defendant was ready to stand the trial.

However, Counsel to Efeturi, Mahmud Magagi, prayed the court to grant his client bail on “liberal terms”, which was also granted.

In his submission, the Prosecution Counsel Muhammadu Diri, aligned to bail prayer for the third accused (Saraki), so as not to create a vacuum in the Senate, but opposed the same to the first, Maikasuwa; second, Efeturi and fourth Ekweremadu defendants.

While noting that the accused persons were yet to be proved guilty, Justice Haliru held that there was the need to grant the suspects bail. He then adjourned hearing till Monday July 11, 2016.



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