Court Reserves Ruling on Bail Application by Former FCT Minister

0

Alex Enumah in Abuja
A High Court in Abuja has reserved ruling on an application for bail brought before it by the detained former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Bala Mohammed.

 The court had, after hearing arguments, canvassed for and against the motion reserved its ruling to a date to be communicated to the parties in the suit.

 Mohammed had in the motion asked the court to release him on bail from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pending his arraignment before a competent court of law.

He is equally asking for an order of court directing the EFCC to produce him before the court for his admission to bail.

Aside the bail application, the former minister has also filed a N100 million fundamental human right suit against the EFCC over his continued detention.

In suit marked FCT/CV/220/2016 filed by his counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), the applicant is praying the court for an order compelling and directing the EFCC to release him on bail forthwith or immediately arraign him before a competent court of law for trial.

The application was brought pursuant to order IV rules 3 and 4 of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009, sections 159 (1) and (2), 168 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act [ACJA], 2015, and section 35 of the constitution and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

In his 15 Paragraphs Affidavit in support of the originating motion on notice, the applicant stated that he was invited by the EFCC to report to its office on October 24, 2016, in connection with an investigation into alleged ‘cases of conspiracy, abuse of office and money laundering’.
The affidavit deposed to by Umar Aliyu Usman stated that the applicant (Bala Mohammed) voluntarily reported to the EFCC on October 24, 2016, and was promptly arrested and detained till date.

He stated that rather than being released on bail, he was merely dumped and abandoned in the respondent’s cell since then, wherein he has suffered substantial deterioration of health and untold psychological trauma and mental torture.

Arguing the motion on notice before Justice Baba Yusuf yesterday, Uche submitted that the arrest and detention of his client more than 30 days without being charged to court amounted to a gross violation of his liberty as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.