14 July 2017

Nigeria: Ex - Jigawa Gov Turaki Regains Freedom

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Maitama yesterday granted bail to a former Governor of Jigawa State, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki.

Turaki has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for about two weeks

The former governor was arrested by the Commission on July 4 , 2017 at a public function in Abuja, based on a bench warrant issued against him by the Federal High Court sitting in Dutse, Jigawa since 2014.

After his his arrest and detention, Turaki approached the court, through his counsel, Olusegun Jolaawo, seeking an enforcement of his fundamental human rights.

He argued that the length of his stay in the EFCCC custody is more than the 48 hours, the Constitution provided for.

He also said he is having health challenges that needed to be taken care of.

Opposing the application, counsel to EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, informed the court the anti graft agency had in 2007 filed a money laundering charge against the applicant and arraigned him before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

He further submitted that the first trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako was later transferred to ‎Lagos, a situation which prompted the re-assignment of the case to Justice Adamu Bello (now retired).

Turaki had then brought an application seeking the transfer of the case to Jigawa. The court however ruled in his favour, and transferred the case to Dutse division of the court.

He added that since then, the applicant had refused to appear in court, a situation which prompted the issuance of bench warrant.

He further informed the court that the EFCC had written to the registry of the Federal High Court in Dutse‎ asking when the applicant will brought to face trial.

He added that the court in its response stated that the judge has gone on vacation‎.

In view of that, he further submitted that another letter had been written to the registry of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for the transfer of the matter to a vacation judge.

Abubakar, however prayed the court to deny the applicant bail.

In his ruling, Justice Yusuf Halilu granted the applicant bail with two sureties who must be residents of FCT with verifiable means of livelihood.

He further ordered that the applicant shall report to the EFCC every two weeks to sign a register which shall be opened from yesterday until when the court resumes from vacation.

The applicant was ordered to deposit all his travel documents with the court registrar.

The court later adjourned the hearing of substantive motion for enforcement of fundamental human rights to July 20.


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