Why ex-Minister, Bala Mohammed, is still in custody after court grants him bail

bala-mohammedAn Abuja High Court on Tuesday granted bail to a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed.

The trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf admitted Mohammed to temporary freedom after his bail application was argued by his counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) and countered by the EFCC.

He was admitted to bail in the term stated by EFCC in a former administrative bail granted the ex-minister but which Mohammed did not enjoy for a second.

Specifically, the court ordered that he should be allowed home upon production of two sureties who must be of the directorate cadre in the Nigerian Civil Service, with landed properties in Abuja and must surrender their international passports to the court.

Bar and Bench Watch reports that Mr. Mohammed was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on October 24, this year, over allegations of fraud.

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He was in the custody of the EFCC for three weeks without any attempt to release him on bail.

But after the third week, his counsel approached the court to file an application to secure his release.

Almost contemporaneously, the EFCC approached a court for a warrant of remand to further keep him under the guise that it was yet to conclude with his investigation.

However, when the remand order expired, the EFCC filed a counter affidavit accompanied with a number of exhibits to oppose Mohammed’s bail.

The application for bail was eventually taken last week Thursday while ruling was fixed for Tuesday noon this week.

Ruling on the application, the court overruled the EFCC and granted him bail.

But Mohammed, as at the time of filing this report, is still in the custody of EFCC.

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His counsel, Chief Uche (SAN) confirmed to Bar and Bench Watch on phone that the sureties were trying to perfect the bail conditions on Tuesday but could not conclude before the court closed.

He said he was hopeful that the court would sign his papers tomorrow (Wednesday) while EFCC allows him home.