Friday, August 03, 2007
I can't meet bail conditions-Turaki cries out.
Embattled former Governor Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State on Thursday admitted his inability to meet the bail conditions slammed on him by a Federal High Court in Abuja, which is trying him for alleged money laundering and diversion of state funds to the tune of N35 billion. Turaki said traditional rulers in his state had refused to stand as sureties for him, attributing the development to the handiwork of those who never wished him well. The former governor briefed newsmen in Abuja through his close aide, Alhaji Saidu Mohammed Tudun-wada lamented his fate thus: "There are three first class traditional rulers that were promoted by Turaki, who were willing to come forward and post his bail. But they have developed cold feet out of fear of what could happen due to the feud between the former governor and Governor Sule Lamido who now calls the shots in the state. So we have gone outside the state to look for sureties for Turaki. The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk Usman is willing and ready to come forward and stand as surety, Mohammed Anwwal Ibrahim, the Emir of Suleja has completed his own part of the bail conditions," he stated. On other conditions of bail, which relate to the ownership of properties in highbrow areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Tudu-Wada said, "this particular condition has posed a lot of problems for us as those that have houses in either Maitama, Asokoro or Central Business District of the city have not been paying their taxes as and when due as prescribed by the bail condition. Others that have been paying their taxes as at when due have no houses in such areas of the Federal Capital City. It has indeed been very difficult, it is like granting bail with one hand and taking it back with another.
... and then Mother Luck smiles his way
the Jigawa state government that it was frustrating moves to bail the former governor. Mallam Aminu Ringim, the Chief of Staff to Governor Sule Lamido to the allegation that Lamido frustrated Turaki’s efforts to meet the conditions set by the Abuja High Court.
Turaki, who was not able to meet his bail conditions two weeks after it was granted by the Court, had accused his successor, governor Sule Lamido, of being the architect of his continued incarceration in Kuje prison, alleging that Lamido had intimidated elites and Emirs in the state not to stand as sureties for him.
He alleged that the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouk, who had volunteered to stand surety and had already signed some documents later changed his mind because of pressure from governor Lamido.Turaki said this yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja premises, through his lawyer, Mr. Saidu Wada, who said that the Emir refused to perfect the bail bond, for fear of the incumbent governor.''
But the Chief of staff to Gov Lamido denied the allegation yesterday saying that contrary to the allegation, Lamido was deeply concerned about the ex-Governor’s travails and had made efforts to assist him.“The Governor did not want to intervene openly because he believes in the rule of law. He however worked assiduously in the background to secure Turaki’s release. In fact, Lamido made alternative arrangements for a first class Traditional Ruler to be on ground in case Turaki did not get one. It is only an uninformed person or a mischievous mind that would therefore accuse the Governor of any complicity in any way”, the source declared.
The former Governor had been granted bail last Friday. He was largely expected to meet the conditions of the bail immediately and regain his freedom. This expectation gradually dissolved into the air as he failed to meet the conditions several days after. At a point, a first class Emir in Katsina state who was said to have agreed to be one of his sureties denied the reports.The ex-Governor’s eventual release yesterday nearly one week after he was granted bail by Justice Binta Nyako was celebrated gleefully by his supporters in his home town of Kazaure . His return home is awaited with great expectations.
... and Nnamani too
Nnamani who is standing trial alongside two others on a 105-count charge of fraud, conspiracy, concealment and money laundering totalling about N5.6billion was at a Federal High Court in Lagos, granted him bail to the tune of N100million.
Presiding judge, Justice Peter Olayiwola, in his ruling on the bail application brought by Nnamani and the two other accused persons, Sunday Anyaogu and Sylvia Onwubuemeli, held that the charge for which they were charged was bailable.
The court that the 1st accused persons (Nnamani) is no more the Chief Executive of Enugu State and is also no more covered by immunity, hence does not exercise much power and cannot influence the matter or interfere with same, adding that "there was no hiding place for him under the sun”.
The court agreed with the submission of defence counsel that the applicants are sick and have exhibited medical report to buttress their claims, while the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to filed any report to counter the medical reports or provide any other document or material to counter the argument of the accused persons that they are sick and urgently need medical attention. The judge was equally of the view that it would serve the interest of justice more, to grant the accused bail, adding “I am convinced that they (accused persons) would not escape if granted bail.”
According to the court, the second accused person, Sunday Anyaogu, had earlier been granted bail by the EFCC and despite that, he has always made himself available in court to face the charge against him. The court consequently granted them bail.
Nnamani according to the court was admitted to bail in the sum of N100million and two sureties in like sum. The court further ordered as part of the condition for bail, that the sureties must be outstanding individuals, who must own landed properties in Lekki Phase 1, Victoria Island, Ikoyi or Ikeja, all in Lagos. The sureties are to swear to an affidavit of means, which will be verified by the court.
The court further ordered the former governor to deposit his International Passport with the court, and must not travel anywhere without the court’s permission. Nnamani was ordered to report to the police of his whereabout every week.
For the other accused persons, Onwubuemeli and Anyaogu, they were admitted to bail in the sum of N100million and one surety each. The surety according to the court, must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court and must each depose to an affidavit of means.