Monday, January 9, 2017 4:41 pm
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday admitted each of three persons accused of drug trafficking to N30 million bail and three sureties in the sum of N15 million.
Justice Okon Abang ruled that the sureties must reside and own landed property in Abuja, produce three years’ tax clearance certificate and must deposit their international passports with the court.
The defendants – Audu Garba, Haruna Abdulahi and Nasir Ibrahim – are standing trial on a three-count charge of conspiring to export 144kg of a drug similar to cocaine.
The were arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, in 2016 and charged by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Abang held that drug trafficking had impacted negatively on the Nigeria, attracted a heavy punishment but was bailable.
According to the judge, although the prosecution was apprehensive that the accused might jump bail, they would be presumed innocent until proved otherwise.
He, however, said that, in exercising its discretion to grant bail, the court would put in place conditions to ensure that it would be difficult for the accused to jump bail.
He adjourned the matter until Feb. 6 for commencement of trial.
Prosecution counsel, Mrs S.I. Mark, had at the last sitting of the court on the case, prayed for denial of bail to the accused, arguing that they could jump bail if granted.
She also sought accelerated hearing in the case. (NAN)