Thursday, June 30, 2016 7:13 pm
An Abuja Federal High Court on Thursday ordered the remand of a former Acting Governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintri, in Kuje prison pending the determination of his bail application.
Fintri was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a five-count charge bordering on money laundering.
He was said to have defrauded the Adamawa government to the tune of N970 million and 4.8 million dollars when he was the governor of the state for three months.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
His counsel, Mahmud Magaji, applied for his bail contending that the offences were bailable.
Magaji based his bail arguments on Section 35 (6) of the 1999 Constitution which presumes his client innocent until proven guilty.
Furthermore, he relied on sections 158 and 163 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in urging the court to admit the defendant to bail.
“We rely on these sections in seeking the order of the court to admit the defendant to bail pending the determination of the case.
“At this stage, the accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the prosecution.
“Also, bail is discretionary and prior to the arraignment of the defendant, he had been on administrative bail of the EFCC.
“Part of the requirements of the bail was that the defendant had to deposit his International Passport with the EFCC,’’ he said.
Magaji assured the court that Fintri would not jump bail and that he would always be available to face his trial.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Peters Aso, opposed the application, and urged the court to take judicial notice of a document filed by the defence concerning a medical issue of the defendant.
Aso said that it appeared that Fintri had lied on oath since the date, which he said, the doctor told him of his ailment was earlier than the date he said he was examined.
The prosecuting counsel said that although he was not a medical personnel, he believed that one should be first examined before being told of his health condition.
Aso, therefore, prayed the court to deny the bail application and remand the defendant in prison for the period of the trial.
The judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, however, fixed ruling on the bail application for July 1.