Nigeria

Court Orders Senator Ndume’s Release From Detention

A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, who it ordered to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja on Monday following his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, alleged to have jumped bail.

In a ruling on Friday, November 27, 2020, Justice Okon Abang said he elected to grant Ndume bail because of his record of good conduct before the court in the course of Maina’s trial, even though the other grounds of his bail application failed.

Abang ordered that Ndume be released on bail pending the hearing and determination of the appeal he filed before the Court of Appeal, challenging the order for his remand made on November 23, 2020.

The judge said part of the conditions for the bail granted Ndume was that he produces a surety, who must be a resident of Abuja and, who must present evidence of ownership of a property anywhere in Abuja.

The surety, the judge added, must depose to an affidavit of means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the Ndume jumps bail.

The judge also ordered the Ndume to deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the court.

Justice Abang ordered the lawmaker to file an undertaking that he would compile records of appeal and transmit it to the Court of Appeal within 10 days; a way the court wants him to demonstrate his readiness to prosecute his appeal.

Maina, an ex-Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, PRTT, of the Federal Government), is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2 billion.

He was granted bail upon his arraignment, following which Ndume stood surety for him and undertook to always ensure his presence in court, failing which he (the surety) would forfeit a N500 million bond he signed.

The court, on November 18, 2020, upon being satisfied that Maina has jumped bail, revoked the bail granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial should proceed in his absence.

The court also, on November 18, 2020, upon revoking Maina’s bail, ordered Ndume to show cause why he should not forfeit the N500 million bond as he undertook to do should Maina jumps bail.

On November 24, Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, filed a notice of appeal against the decision remanding him and applied for bail pending the determination of the appeal.

The ruling by Justice Abang on Friday was on Ndume’s application for bail pending appeal.

Source: The Nation

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