The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to a former member of the Senate representing Kaduna Central, Senator Shehu Sani.
Justice Inyang Ekwo granted Senator Sani bail on Monday in Abuja during his arraignment on two counts of bribery and advance fee fraud.
The charges were preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Senator Sani, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges while his counsel, A. Ibrahim, asked the court to grant his client bail.
But the lead counsel to the EFCC, Abbah Muhammed, said he was just served the bail application notice a while ago.
After listening to the statements of both lawyers, Justice Ekwo stepped down the hearing of the bail application to enable the prosecutor study it.
Upon resumption of the proceedings, Ibrahim argued that having pleaded not guilty and with investigations concluded according to the EFCC, bail was his client’s fundamental human right.
He also outlined other reasons why Senator Sani should be granted bail, saying the defendant has no record of jumping bail.
The defence counsel also stressed that his client was presumed innocent and needed to attend to his businesses and family while still appearing before the court.
He revealed that Sani has given him his international passport and was willing to deposit same with the court, as part of assurances that he would not travel out of the country while the case was ongoing.
On his part, Muhammed stated that if the request was granted, the accused would interfere with the proceedings and urged the court to dismiss the bail application.
After listening to the arguments of the two lawyers, Justice Ekwo granted Senator Sani bail but not without conditions.
He was granted bail in the sum of N10 million and a surety that must be a responsible citizen with landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.
The judge also asked the accused to deposit his international passport with the court and must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
He, thereafter, adjourned the case until February 24, 25, and 26 for accelerated trial.
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