Saturday, 13 May 2017


A high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting at Gudu, Abuja, on Friday granted a N500million bail to the immediate past FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed.

The former minister was arraigned before Justice Abubakar Talba by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on behalf of the Federal Government, on a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of N864million on Wednesday.

Senator Mohammed had, through his lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), applied for his bail, which motion was moved after his plea was taken.

The judge had remanded the Bauchi-born politician in Kuje Prisons pending his ruling on the bail application.

Ruling on the application, Justice Talba noted that bail is a constitutional right, adding that no matter the gratitude of offence, an accused person is assumed innocent until proven otherwise.

While declaring that bail is a human rights issue, the judge submitted that it was not meant to set an accused free but to ensure that he was reasonably free to enable him face trial.

According to Justice Talba, the former minister had placed sufficient materials before the court to grant him bail and, therefore, ruled in his favour for bail.

The judge, however, asked both the prosecution and the applicant/defendant  teams to meet and agree on bail conditions and furnish the court with the agreed terms.

Responding to this, Chief Uche stated that the defence could have requested that the Senator Mohammed be granted bail on self recognizance being a former senator and the immediate past FCT Minister.

He, however, requested for a few minutes stand down of the matter to enable both parties reach an agreement on the bail conditions, which was granted by the court.

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