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There’s no reason I cannot be released on bail, ex-FCT minister tells court

He’s interfering with investigation —EFCC

THE immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, on Thursday, told an FCT High Court, that there was no reason the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), could not release him on bail, having been detained for more than 30 days.

The former minister, through his counsel, Chief Chris Uche, while arguing his application seeking his bail pending arraignment in a court, told the court he had been in the  anti-graft agency’s detention since  Monday,  October 21, beyond constitutional timeline.

The senior advocate informed the court that despite the undertaking given from the Bar by the counsel for EFCC, Mr Rimamsomte Ezekiel, at the last sitting, to ensure the bail of the former minister, the commission still went and obtained another remand order from another court on Wednesday, November 23,  same day the previous order expired.

Chief Uche further told the court that EFCC filed and served the applicant a counter-affidavit, which he described as counter to the statement made by its counsel from the Bar.

Arguing the application further, Uche  drew the attention of the court to Sections 293 and 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Act, adding that by virtue of Section 35 of the Constitution, the former minister ought to have been released by the second day of his arrest.

In his defence, Ezekiel stated that his submission at the last sitting in the court, was subject to the decision of higher authority, declaring that, “I am just a small boy.”

He urged the court to dismiss the application for bail with a cost of N50 million against the former minister.

He told the court that according to Paragraph 16 of the counter-affidavit, the former minister has been interfering with the commission’s investigation, while Paragraph 23 inferred that Senator Mohammed caused the disappearance of one Ms Jamila Tangaza, a director with Abuja Geographical Information System.

Having listened to arguments from both sides, the presiding judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuff, adjourned indefinitely, telling the parties that they would be informed on when he would deliver ruling on the matter.

He stated that by the combined effect of Exhibits one to six, attached to the commission’s counter-affidavit, “EFCC never violated the rights of the former minister in any way.”

He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application, which he said, was filed on  November16 ,at a time there was a valid court order remanding the applicant, which was to expire on November23

Having listened to arguments from both side, the presiding judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuff ,adjourned indefinitely, telling the parties that they would be informed on when he would deliver ruling on the matter.