Alleged Forgery: Nigerian Senate President Saraki; Deputy, others granted bail

Despite stiff opposition from the Federal Government, an Abuja High Court at Jabi, on Monday, released the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and his deputy, Mr. Benedict Efeturi, on bail. The quartet were docked before the court on a two-count forgery charge the federal government entered against them.

The quartet were docked before the court on a two-count forgery charge the federal government entered against them. Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy President of the Senate The defendants were alleged to have masterminded the usage of a bogus Senate Standing Rules for the July 9, 2015, election, through which both Saraki and Ekweremadu took over the leadership of the Senate.

FG maintained that the defendants had by their conduct, committed an offence punishable under Section 97 (1) and 364 of the Penal Code Act. However, though FG which was represented by the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Mr. Mohammed Diri, did not oppose Saraki’s bail request, it however urged the court to deny the other defendants bail. The DPP told the court that Ekweremadu and the other defendants previously evaded service of the charge on them. “We urge this court to be cautious in handling the bail of the 1st, 2nd and 4th defendants.

This is also considering the fact that the charge against them is very serious”, the DPP insisted. He noted that the three defendants evaded service until the court granted an order for substituted service of the charge on them by pasting it at the National Assembly notice board. “My lord, what this means is that if granted bail, the defendants may not be seen again for trial”, Diri added. He said FG’s decision not to oppose Saraki’s bail application was to ensure that legislative business in the Senate was not hampered.

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