Bala Mohammed Court rules on bail application May 12

The former FCT minister is facing a six-count charge, bordering on false declaration of assets and corrupt practices while in office.

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Muhammad Bala

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An FCT High Court on Wednesday fixed May 12 for ruling on the bail application filed by former FCT Minister, Alhaji Bala Mohammed.

The judge, Justice Abubakar Talba, fixed the date after arguments from parties on the application.

Talba said that he was not able to rule on the bail application because he had about 11 other matters to attend to and adjourned ruling until May 12.

The former FCT minister is facing a six-count charge, bordering on false declaration of assets and corrupt practices while in office.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Talba had earlier refused the application for adjournment, moved by Ben Ikani, the prosecuting counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Ikani had asked for an adjournment, saying that he only saw the application for bail “ this morning.’

The defence counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), submitted that the prosecution’s application was based on “absolutely bad faith.’’

He said: “ If the application for bail was made orally, the prosecution would have taken advantage of that by saying that it should have come through motion.’’

He said that bail was the constitutional and fundamental right of a Nigerian citizen, noting that the defendant had been in the custody of the EFCC for 49 days without arraignment.

“Bail is a constitutional right subject to the discretion of the court and not to the whims and caprices of the prosecution."

“In criminal matters, the prosecution must conduct itself in a manner as not to portray it as persecution, no matter the political pressure,’’ Uche said.

He also said that the prosecution could not feign ignorance that the matter was coming up today, “they are the ones who filed the processes."

“They are the ones who filed 11-paragraph counter affidavit accompanied with a written address, all about 16 pages which is argument on legal principles."

“Therefore, they cannot come here to say they are not ready to adopt these written addresses."

“There is no basis either on sentiment, politics or whatever that this application for bail should not be taken,’’ Uche said.

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