A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja yesterday, granted bail to former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, on ground of urgent need of medical attention in Dubai, reports The Guardian.
It would be recalled that Yuguda was arrested November 30, 2015, in connection with the $2 billion arms deal case. Preliminary evidence had revealed that he allegedly received ₦1.5 billion from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), without valid basis for the financial transaction.
During the hearing on the bail application presided over by Justice Peter Afem, it was noted that there were discrepancies in the application by the counsel.
The application had been tendered for the second time, in correction of the first submission made at an earlier sitting. According to the judge, the name of the defendant was spelt wrongly in the letter from the doctor, whom the second defendant was said to have had a prescheduled appointment with.
He charged that, “The only reason I did not grant this application yesterday was because I found something wrong with it.”
He however expressed concern that the mistake was again repeated. “Now, you have brought another that doesn’t rectify the previous discrepancy. You did it yesterday and you are doing it again today. You see why the society doesn’t take you and me seriously?” he queried.
“If the doctor that had been seeing the defendant as long as it was stated in the record presented, should he spells the name wrong?”
Yuguda’s counsel had made the same application, where he prayed the court to allow Yuguda, who is the first defendant in the matter to be allowed to travel for treatment for a period of 10 days from 25 April to May 4, 2016.
“We want to draw the attention of your lordship to our motion dated April 14, asking for your lordship order to release the passport of the first defendant to enable him travel for treatment,” he said.
In the motion dated April 14, as provided for under Section 36 (5) and (6) of the 1999 constitution, he “Prayed your lordship to grant the defendant travel to Dubai, UAE, for a ‘rescheduled’ appointment for treatment.”
The judge had requested for “the proof of the pre-scheduling”, which could not be met.
At the hearing of the application yesterday, Justice Affem lamented the manner in which lawyers present cases in court, stressing the need to preserve the integrity of judicial processes, urging lawyers not to let the society lose their faith in the system, as the law is meant to be the last hope of the people.
He then granted the application and ordered the defendant to return before May 5.
The matter was adjourned till May 25, 2016 for further hearing.
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