Although the former Governor of Jigawa State, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki has been granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja after he was re-arraigned on a 32 count charge for corruption, sources say he is yet to regain freedom.
Recall that the fresh charges bordered mainly on conspiracy to conceal the genuine nature of N12 Billion Naira paid by a firm, Natural Resources Ltd, as signature bonus for Oil Prospecting License officially allocated to them by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2006. But his lawyer, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN claimed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has allegedly not arraigned the 2nd – 4th defendants in the case yet even as the defendants were firms allegedly involved in the transactions.
The source said this development irked the presiding Judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba and further fuelled speculations in many quarters that the whole trial was politically instigated against the Former Governor. It said Justice Dimgba cautioned the EFCC on the need to always observe the rule of law and stressed that there is a presumption of innocence for an accused until proven guilty.
It said the Justice then proceeded to grant Saminu Turaki bail and agreed with some of the release conditions earlier set by Justice Yusuf Haliru of the FCT High Court. It said the case was subsequently adjourned to September 19th 2017 for commencement of trial. The source also claimed that Saminu Turaki has fulfilled the bail conditions but is yet to regain his freedom, adding that already, there is growing concern over the development. It will be recalled that Saminu Turaki was arrested by EFCC on the 4th of July at a book launch in Abuja and remained in EFCC custody.
On Thursday 13 July 2017, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court admitted him to bail but the commission refused to release him even after he had fulfilled the bail conditions. Consequently, his lawyers proceeded to file contempt proceedings against the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The case will be heard on Thursday, 20th July 2017.