An Abuja High Court sitting in Jabi, has granted bail to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others who are accused of altering the standing Rule of the Senate 2015. All four accused persons pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of forgery preferred against them by the Federal Government after which their lawyers argued that they be granted bail.
Justice Yusuf Halilu while delivering judgment on the bail application ordered the defendants to produce two sureties each who must have landed properties in the highbrow areas of Abuja namely Asokoro, Maitama and Wuse. It was a hectic effort gaining entrance to the court room where the president of Senate, his deputy and two others were arraigned for an offence bordering on forgery.
Their supporters and security personnel were seen around the court premises as other senators came in their numbers to show solidarity with their leaders. After they were docked and pleaded not guilty, the prosecution counsel opposed their bail application except the one filed by Saraki’s lawyer. The Federal Government’s counsel argued that if the defendants are granted bail, that they will influence the witnesses who are to testify against them.
Defence lawyers cited relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 to support their argument for their clients to be granted bail. Justice Halilu while ruling on the bail application held that granting bail to an accused person is to enable the defendant who is presumed innocent properly defend itself. The judge subsequently granted the bail application asking the defendants to produce two sureties each who must have landed properties in highbrow areas of Abuja.
The matter has been adjourned till July 11 for further hearing.