By Simon Akwu
Abuja (Precise Post)- Former Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke was on Monday arraigned again by the Federal Government barely a month after he was granted bail on 42-count Charges.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Adoke and one Aliyu Abubakar on a seven-count criminal charge bordering on fraud, corruption and money laundering in the region of N900 million.
Adoke and six others, who were last month arraigned before Justice Idris Kutigi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was this time arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
They however pleaded not guilty to the seven counts read against them.
Following their not-guilty plea to the charges, the counsel for the EFCC, Bala Sanga, urged the court to remand the defendants in the commission’s custody pending the hearing of the matter.
However, a team of counsel to the defendants drew the court’s attention to the bail application filed by the defendants.
Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who argued the bail application of Adoke, prayed the court to grant him bail in self recognizance being a former AGF, pending the hearing of the charges.
He said in the alternative, Adoke should be granted bail on favourable and liberal terms, or better still to allow Adoke enjoy bail terms as already granted him by an FCT High Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Idris Kutigi, where Adoke is facing a 42-count charge.
He said Adoke has never been convicted of any crime and that the charges before the court are bailable offences.
While submitting that bail is constitutional, the senior lawyer said a defendant should not be denied his right of freedom of free movement until when he is convicted.
Similarly, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to the second defendant, aligned with the submissions of Ozekhome to urge the court to grant the second defendant bail.
In his response, the prosecution counsel, Bala Sanga, urged the court to use its discretionary power to grant the defendants bail.
However, the trial judge, Justice Nyako, adjourned till 2pm to rule on the bail application.