Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Justice Saleh Kogo Idrissa of the Federal High Court, Sokoto, has ordered that a former minister and immediate deputy governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Murkthar Shagari be remanded in Police custody alongside four others.
The politician was arraigned before the court, on Tuesday, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on a five count charges bothering on money laundering.
Others arraigned with Shagari were a former Commissioner of Information, Ibrahim Gidado, younger brother to former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, Nasiru Bafarawa, Sokoto State PDP chairman, Ibrahim Milgoma and the PDP candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election, Sen. Abdallah Wali.
After taken their pleas, their applications for bail were presented by lawyers representing each of the defendants, urging the court to grant them bail based on the application earlier filled before the court.
The defence lawyers cited that the accused persons have being on EFCC administrative bails since 2016, and investigations surrounding the allegation have been concluded.
However, the application for their bails was objected by EFCC lead counsel, Barrister Johnson Ojogbane, citing section 396 and 221 of ACJA to support his arguments.
Subsequently, the Judge ordered the defendants to be remanded at the police headquarters, in Sokoto, until 24 May, 2018 when the bail application will be heard.
The defendants who were brought to the court by EFCC personnel for allegedly received the sum of five hundred million naira, from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, to allegedly manipulate and influence 2015 general election.
Three of the five count charges read by the court clerk were against Ibrahim Gidado and Mukhtar Shagari, the first and second defendants respectively.
Third and fifth defendants, Nasiru Bafarawa and Senator Abdallah Wali, we’re arraigned on two count charges, while Ibrahim Milgoma, was arraigned on one count charge.
Count one of the charges reads, “You Ibrahim Gidado, Mukhtar Shagari and Ibrahim Milgoma, sometimes in March 2015, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire among yourselves to receive cash payment of the sum of five hundred million naira, from one Abdulrahman Ibrahim, without transacting through a financial institution and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 16(2) of the same Act.”