Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Federal High Court in Kano, Kano State, presided over by Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa yesterday granted bail to a whistleblower, Mahdi Shehu.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa, however, granted the whistleblower bail with N10 million and a reliable surety with landed property in Kano Municipal and a verified residential address in Kano.
The prosecution counsel, Samuel Lough, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), had told the court that it had filed a 24-paragraph affidavit in objection of the bail, premising his argument on the fact that the defendant had initially jumped bail and failed to present a medical report to show he was ill within the period as claimed.
Also at the resumption of the court sitting, the prosecution told the court that due procedure was not followed in transferring the case by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court from Katsina State to Kano State, hence the appeal that the matter be brought back to the Chief Judge for proper reassignment.
Lough said as a party that charged the defendant to court, they were not given fair hearing over allegations made by the defendant that Katsina State court might be biased in handling the case.
The defence counsel, Ilas Habib, urged the court to overrule the objection, saying there was no breach of fair hearing, hence, the need for the business of the day (arraignment of the defendant).
The Judge, however, overruled the objection, saying the Chief Judge has the power to transfer the matter to any court, ordering that the prosecution take the plea or he (Judge) take a consequential order.
The plea was taken, of which the defendant, Mahdi Shehu, who appeared before the court in clutches, neck band and pillow, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The charges include defamation of character, public incitement on electronic media and social media against Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, Secretary to the Government of the State (SSG), Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, and other members of the cabinet.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa, however, adjourned the case till May 19, 2021.
The Inspector General of Police (IG) had arraigned Shehu before the court on a six court charges bordering on cyber-stalking against the Katsina State Government.