Disturbed by what it described as impossible to fulfil bail conditions, the Northern Youth Coalition for Justice, on Tuesday, called on the international community and human rights groups to prevail on Justice Okon Abang to review the stringent bail conditions handed out to ex pensions chief, Abdulrasheed Maina.
According to the group: “It is apparently clear that the said presiding judge in the case between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Okon Abang, has deliberately decided a way of keeping Abdulrasheed Maina in continued detention.”
In a statement issued and signed by its Secretary, Abubakar Usman Yola, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the group lamented that the bail conditions Justice Abang offered were not just harsh but also mischievous as they were impossible to fulfil.
The statement said: “Jail terms given as bail terms to keep Maina in detention that many lawyers including Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) had observed that such bail conditions have never been given to anyone before in the history of the judiciary.
“It is calculated and concocted in such a way that it is virtually impossible to fulfil such conditions by the defendant in the case before him.
“The bail was granted based on the following terms:
“The Defendant is admitted to bail in the sum of one billion naira, two sureties like sum.
“The sureties must be Nigerians and two serving Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that do not have criminal cases pending in any Court.
“The two sureties may be from any of the six geo-political zones.
“The sureties must have properties in Maitama or Asokoro, FCT with Certificate of Occupancy.
“The Chief Registrar of this Court shall in writing ascertain the validity or otherwise of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the relevant Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory.
“The Defendant shall deposit his US and Nigeria Passports and all other travel documents with the Chief Registrar of this Court.
“The Sureties shall undertake to appear in Court with the 1st Defendant, at all adjourned dates, pending conclusion of trial.
“Where at least one of the Sureties is not in Court with the Defendant, the Court shall be at liberty to revoke the bail of the 1st Defendant unless good and sufficient reasons are given for their absence.
“The Sureties shall each file affidavit of means with two passport photographs attached, stating their capability and capacity of paying the penal sum to the Federal Government or the Court, in the event of being called upon to do so.
“The Prosecution through the Investigating Police Officer, shall in writing ascertain the residence of the Defendant to be in Abuja, FCT,” the statement outlined.
“Maina is a Nigerian whom the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Nigeria recently stated under oath at the National Assembly that he (Abdulraaheed Maina) recovered the sum of N1.3 trillion to the present administration and he is yet to be paid his 5 per cent (65bn) whistleblowers fees. If one puts this against the paltry allegation of N2.1bn, one would wonder who is honestly owing who?
“The bail conditions are not meant to be fulfilled but to serve as an excuse for his continued detention citing his inability to meet the terms as reason for his detention.This only depicts a deliberate plot of exploiting the court procedure to keep a defendant behind bars,” the group stated.