From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Federal High Court yesterday sent former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, back to Kuje Prisons pending its ruling on his bail application fixed for today.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) had on Monday arraigned Moro alongside a former director in the ministry, F.O. Alayebami and former permanent secretary, Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, on an 11-count charge of complicity in a N676 million immigration recruitment scam.
Justice Anwuli Chikere had, during the last sitting of the court, remanded Moro in prison custody pending the consideration of his application, while the second defendant, Daniel- Nwobia, was granted administrative bail because she is nursing a baby. The case was then adjourned to yesterday for hearing of their bail applications.
When the case came up, counsel to Moro, Mr Akinlolu Kehinde (SAN), urged the court to admit his client on liberal terms. He said the alleged offences are bailable and that his client is a former minister and would not jump bail.
Besides, he urged the court to grant his client bail on health grounds, insisting there are credible people to stand surety for him. He also said Moro submitted himself to the EFCC upon invitation.
Chief Chris Uche (SAN), for Daniel-Nwobia, urged the court to grant her bail on health grounds.
He said the alleged offences are bailable and she has reasonable and responsible people to stand surety if granted bail.
But in opposing the bail applications, the prosecution counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, said the applicants have not placed sufficient materials before the court to enable it exercise its discretion in their favour.
Aliyu argued that on the ground of ill-health, the applicants have not disclosed the nature of the ailment to enable the court determine whether it could be treated at the National Hospital in Abuja or not.
He urged the court to refuse their bail applications and grant accelerated hearing.
Ruling , Justice Chikere held that Moro and Alayebami be sent back to Kuje Prisons while Daniel-Nwobia remains on the administrative bail the court had granted her.
Moro and the other defendants had taken their not guilty plea before the court on Monday when the EFCC arraigned them before Justice Chikere on 11- count charge of fraud in the 2014 job recruitment exercise for the Nigeria Immigration Service that led to the death of 19 applicants.
The accused persons were alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.