The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has asked the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja to refuse granting bail to the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and others.
The Commission had on July 22 arraigned Idris, Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited before the court, on 14 count charges bordering on gratification, stealing and criminal breach of trust to the tune of N109,485,572,691.
They had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Recall that the Court sitting in Abuja had after taking their plea, remanded the Idris and others at the Kuje Correctional Service pending the determination of their applications for bail.
At the resumed hearing of the trial on Wednesday, the AGF’s lawyer, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), informed the court of his motion for bail dated July 22.
He sought for an order of court granting bail to the first defendant (Idris) applicant pending his trial.
“Upon receipt of the counter affidavit of the complainant respondent, we filed a further affidavit denying the contentions in the counter affidavit. We did not file any reply on point of law since bail is settled in the constitution”, he said.
Uche urged the court not to look at the objections raised by the EFCC because its allegations were yet to be tried and that the charges are bailable and are not capital offenses.
He added that when the EFCC gave Idris administrative bail, his client was reporting to the antigraft agency for further questioning.
Uche further assured the court that his client has sureties and would be available for his trial.
Other defendant applicants in the case equally sought bail on liberal terms.
However, EFCC counsel , Rotimi Jacob (SAN), opposed the application for bail.
Citing the Supreme Court verdict that equates corruption in public office to genocide, Jacob held that the judge may look at the nature or gravity of the charges against the defendants.
He argued that the alleged offense in question is a serious offense, saying that breach of trust, for instance, is a criminal offense that can attract 14 years jail term.
Jacob said the bail is purely at the discretionary powers of the judge while looking at the facts put forward by the EFCC.
He also denied that the EFCC gave administrative bail to the defendants, saying that it was a judicial release ordered by a Magistrate court.
He cited that public office corruption is like genocide.
Idris’ lawyer, Uche SAN objected to it, arguing that if the Magistrate can grant bail, the FCT High Court can follow suit.
The trial judge, Adeyemi Ajayi held that the so- called administrative bail of the EFCC cannot be used to seek for bail for the defendants.
She said she will look at the merits of the bail application in the 1999 constitution which is the supreme law of the land.
“I will adjourn this matter till Thursday for ruling”, the judge said