Ex-Gov. Lamido, 2 sons remanded in Kano prison

Former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido to be remanded in prison custody along with his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha on their first day in court over corruption charges.
This is because the EFCC said they lacked enough facilities to accommodate them.
Justice Evelyn Anyadike ordered that the accused persons be remanded in a Kano Prison Custody and adjourned the case to September 28 for ruling on bail applications.
Judges nationwide are going on two-month vacation but the former governor and the others could get early bail since vacation judges will be at work.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Lamido and the three others on a 28-count-charge of alleged money laundering to the tune of N1.351bn, during his eight years as governor.
The Court heard that Lamido laundered the money through four companies belonging to him and his sons.
The companies are Bamaina Holdings Ltd, Bamaina Company Ltd, Bamaina Aluminium and Speeds International Ltd.
The EFCC’s charge sheet dated July 7 and read in Court said the money was deposited in the accounts of the four companies located in Kano.
The deposits were said to have been by Dantata and Sawoe and A.G. Ferrero construction companies at 28 different times.
“The funds represent proceeds of illegal act of Lamido while engaging in private business as a public officer within the meaning of the Code of Conduct for public officers as prescribed under the 5th schedule of the 1999 constitution.”
The charge said he went against the law by engaging in private business as a public office holder “using the company of which he is a director, a shareholder and the sole signatory of the company’s account,” the Court heard.
The governor’s act, according to the Court is punishable under section 153 of the money laundering provision Act of 2014.
However, the four accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges when their pleas were taken.
While the charges were being read, Sule Lamido told the Court that he could no longer withstand standing in the Dock in view of his age.
He told the court that he was 69 and needed to sit-down after standing for over an hour. But the Court did not grant his request until after the court registrar finished reading the 28 charges.
EFCC lawyer, Barrister Chile Okoroma applied that a date be taken for the trial of the accused persons and that they should be remanded in prison custody.
“Our facilities are overstretched and it is in view of this that we are applying that they should be remanded in prison and not in our custody,” he told Court.
However, the Counsel to accused persons Offiong Offiong (SAN) applied that his clients be granted bail.
“I don’t have a problem that a date is picked for the trial of the case but my problem is on the remand of my clients.
“I have served the prosecuting counsel my clients’ application for bail. I therefore urged the court that the application is taken now and promptly in view of the fundamental rights of my clients,” he told the court.
The EFCC lawyer, however opposed it, saying they were served application on Wednesday by 5.pm and as such they needed enough time to reply.
In her ruling, Justice Anyadike ordered that the accused persons be remanded in Kano prison.
“I hereby adjourned the case to 28th of September, 2015 for trial and I order that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody in Kano.
“The accused persons’ counsel can file bail application through a vacation judge. As you know, I’m here by fiat and I cannot look into the application due to time,” she said.
Speaking at the end of the Court sitting, Lamido’s lawyer, Offiong Offiong (SAN) said the administrative bottlenecks were created in order to take away the liberty of his clients.
Senior Lawyers interviewed told our correspondent that Lamido and his sons can only be granted bail from Monday onward when the vacation judge will start sitting.
Our correspondent reports that immediately after the Judge ruled that the accused be remanded in prison and not EFCC custody, the governor’s supporters in the court started wailing.
Outside the Court premises hundreds of his supporters carrying placards were chanting why Lamido and why now.
Some of the placards read: “Jigawa money not missing”, “Why Lamido and not others”, “Lamido for 2019”.
The security operatives stationed at the Court sought for reinforcement before they could take the former governor and his sons out of the Court to the Kano central prison which is also known as Kurmawa prison.

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