By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – The Federal High Court sitting in Katsina has on Friday granted the former Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema bail following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC custody over alleged money laundering of N5.7billion SURE-P Funds.
The presiding judge, Justice Babagana Ashigar on Friday granted the bail of the former governor based on self cognizance as a public figure.
Ashigar said the bail was granted on two conditions which is first as stipulated under Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA section and that the defendant deposit his international passport to the registry of the court.
It would be recalled that Shema was on Tuesday remanded in the EFCC custody following the court order and fix 27th April for hearing of the application for bail filed by Shema’s counsel dated 18th April, 2018.
Earlier in Friday’s court sitting, the Prosecution Counsel, Joseph Olatoke SAN had expressed fear that if the bail application is granted to the defendant, he will escape saying Shema had already gone to the Federal High court, Abuja to seek for the retreive of his international passport to his possession and for him to travel out of the country.
Shema’s counsel, Joseph Daudu SAN debunked the argument of the EFCC counsel, Olatoke saying it is not true that the fact that Shema is requesting for his international passport does not mean that he will jump the bail.
The presiding judge, Ashigar however adjourned the sitting till 13th June, 2018 for hearing and for the defendant to comply with the conditions.
Meanwhile, Shema was arraigned by the EFCC on 26-count charges which he pleaded not guilty of before the court.