Former Governor of Jigawa State, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki has been granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja after he was re-arraigned on a 32 count charge for corruption.
The fresh charges bordered mainly on conspiracy to conceal the genuine nature of N12billion paid by a firm, Natural Resources Ltd, as signature bonus for Oil Prospecting License officially allocated to them by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2006.
Surprisingly, the EFCC failed to arraign any of the 2nd – 4th defendants which were firms allegedly involved in the transactions. They could not also confirm to the court that those defendants were served with the current charges or informed of the arraignment.
This development irked the presiding Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba and further fueled speculations in many quarters that the whole trial was politically instigated against the Former Governor.
Justice Dimgba cautioned the EFCC on the need to always observe the rule of law and stressed that there is a presumption of innocence for an accused until proven guilty. He proceeded to grant Saminu Turaki bail and agreed with some of the release conditions earlier set by Justice Yusuf Haliru of the FCT High Court.
The case was subsequently adjourned to September 19th 2017 for commencement of trial. As at press time, Saminu Turaki has fulfilled the bail conditions but is yet to regain his freedom. Already, there is growing concern because of EFCC’s serial violation of court orders.
It will be recalled that Saminu Turaki was arrested by EFCC on the 4th of July at a book launch in Abuja and remained in EFCC custody.
On Thursday 13 July 2017, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court admitted him to bail but the commission refused to release him even after he had fulfilled the bail conditions. Consequently, his lawyers proceeded to file contempt proceedings against the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu at the Federal High Abuja. The case will be heard on Thursday, 20th July 2017.