Court remands former Kaduna governor in prison custody

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court of law

A Federal High Court in Kaduna on Thursday remanded a former governor of the state, Ramalan Yero, and three others in prison custody over charges of money laundering levelled against them.

Yero, a former governor of Kaduna state between 2012 and 2015, is standing trial alongside three others: Nuhu Somo Wya, a former Minister of Power; Hamza Ishaq, a former Secretary to the State Government and Abubakar Gaya-Haruna, a former chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state.

During the court proceedings, supporters of the former governor were seen outside the court premises carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs.

Yero is being charged on three-counts of money laundering while the other three defendants were charged for cash payment without passing through a financial institution.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Counsel to Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, Joshua Saidi, said:  “In view of the plea of the defendant, we ask for a date to commence trial. We urge his lordship to remand them in prisons.”

However, counsel to the former governor, Yunus Ustaz, SAN, in an oral application for Yero’s bail, said, “We apply that in the interest of justice and presumption of innocence, the accused be granted bail. Your lordship has absolute discretion to grant bail.

‘’The Administration of the Criminal Justice Act allows that you grant bail without formal application. The first defendant is not somebody to jump bail.

‘’We pray that the accused be remanded in EFCC custody, pending the determination of the bail application because of what some of us had gone through in Nigerian prison,” Ustaz said.

But in objection to Ustaz’s oral application, the EFCC Counsel, Joshua Saidi, said, “We don’t have the facility to keep the accused.”

Presiding judge, Mohammed Shuaibu, however, noted that a formal application must be brought before him even though the Criminal Justice Administration Act accorded him the opportunity to grant bail on oral application.

Justice Shuaibu ruled that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody, until June 6, 2018 when an application for bail will be considered.

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