N19.4bn fraud: Court grants Yuguda, 4 others N250m bail each

By The Citizen

An FCT High Court on Monday granted former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and three others bail in the sum of N250 million each.

Yuguda is standing trial alongside former Director of Finance in NSA Office, Shuaibu Salisu, former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, his son, Sagir Attahiru and their company, Attahiru Investment Limited.

They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on a 22-count-charge of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and retention of proceeds of crime worth N19.4billion.

However, they all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Justice Peter Affen, in his ruling ordered each of the defendants to produce one surety each.

Affen said that each of the surety must not be below the level of a director in the Federal Civil Service and must reside within the court's jurisdiction.

The judge also ordered that the surety must have a landed property in Abuja worth N250million.

He said that the titled document of the said property and the international passport of the defendants must be submitted to the court.

Affen ordered that in case of any further investigation by the prosecution, the defendants must not be kept outside the 'hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the need arises''.

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He said if the EFCC had any reason to keep the defendants outside those hours, they must inform the court on the need to do so.

The judge said that failure to perfect the bail conditions, the defendants should be remanded in Kuje Prison pending the perfection of their bail.

Affen said that the defendants deserved to be granted bail as investigations were substantially conducted in the matter.

' Whatever is left was not substantial to deny the defendants bail, simply because the prosecution alleged that they may interfere with investigations if granted bail. ' No any evidence to prove that the defendants if granted bail to them will commit another offence. ' I will not align myself with the theory of probability as canvassed by the prosecution to deny the defendants bail,' he said.

Affen adjourned the case till Feb. 2 and Feb.3, 2016 for trial.