An Abuja High Court, on Thursday, granted bail to a former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki, who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The former governor was arrested by EFCC operatives on July 4, 2017, in Abuja at the venue of the public presentation of a book on Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari.
The Commission’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, who had opposed Turaki’s request for bail, informed the judge that the former governor was arrested three years after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The lawyer explained that the Federal High Court in Dutse, Jigawa state, had issued the arrest warrant following the failure of the former governor to attend court proceedings to face trial for charges filed against him in 2011.
The trial judge, Justice Yusufu Halilu, said even though the re-arrest of the former governor by the EFCC was on the strength of a bench warrant, the essence of bail is to ensure that a person shows up for trial.
He added that since Turaki has not taken a formal plea before the court, the court is inclined to grant him bail until when the court resumes from its annual vacation and Turaki is brought before a competent court of jurisdiction to take his plea.
Justice Yusuf Halilu granted him bail on conditions which merely required him to submit his travelling documents to the registrar of the court, produce “two reasonable sureties” who are residents in Abuja and sign a register to be opened at the EFCC office every two weeks.
The bail was granted on the grounds that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven otherwise.