By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Idris Kutigi of an Abuja High Court sitting in Gwagwalada area of Abuja, on Thursday ordered the remand of former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) pending the hearing and determination of their bail application.
Justice Kutigi ordered their remand with the EFCC shortly after the defendants pleaded not guilty to allegations of crime against them by the federal government.
Adoke and his co-defendants were on Thursday formerly arraigned before Justice Kutigi on a 42-count charge of fraud and criminal breach of trust, amongst others.
However, they pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The others are Aliu Abubakar, Rasky Gbinigie, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, Shell Ultra Deep Limited and Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Limited.
Following their plea of not guilty, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, prayed the court to order the remand of the defendants in a correctional centre pending the commencement of trial.
Sanga also prayed the court for a date for the commencement of trial.
However, the counsel to the first to third defendants drew the court’s attention to the individual bail applications filed on behalf of their clients, urging the court to hear the applications with a view of admitting the defendants to bail.
The prosecution counsel opposed the request on the grounds that the applications were premature, adding that he was only served copies of the individual applications Thursday and as such would need time to prepare and file his counter motions to the bail.
“Bail application is premature, I need time to file necessary counter,” Sanga said.