Chris Steven, Abuja
A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to Saminu Turaki, a former governor of Jigawa State.
The court gave the order on Tuesday after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) re-arraigned him on 32 counts of money laundering offences before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba.
He was re-arraigned alongside three companies – INC Natural Resources Ltd., Arkel Construction Nigeria Ltd and Wildcat Construction Ltd.
According to the EFCC, Turaki and the companies allegedly committed the offences between 2006 and 2007 while he was the governor of Jigawa State.
Although Justice Dimgba granted him bail on fresh bail conditions, he ordered the former governor to remain in Kuje Prisons pending when the bail conditions were met.
The anti-graft agency had arrested Turaki on July 4 at a public function in Abuja, based on a bench warrant issued against him by the Federal High Court sitting in Dutse, Jigawa State in 2014.
He later approached the court through his counsel, Olusegun Jolaawo, seeking the enforcement of his fundamental human rights.
The former governor noted that the length of his stay in the EFCC custody was more than the 48 hours stipulated by the Constitution.
EFCC counsel Mohammed Abubakar swiftly opposed the application, arguing that Turaki was arrested on the strength of a bench warrant, following his refusal to attend his court sessions since his case was transferred from Abuja.
He told the court that the EFCC had complied with the bench warrant and wanted to produce him before the court before it discovered that the judge was already observing his annual vacation.
This comes just five days after an FCT High Court granted the former governor bail with two sureties who must be residents of Abuja with verifiable means of livelihood.
Giving his ruling on Thursday, July 13, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court granted the applicant bail with two sureties who must be residents of Abuja with verifiable means of livelihood among other conditions.
He further adjourned the hearing of the substantive motion for enforcement of fundamental human rights till July 20.