Judge sends Adoke’s file to CJ, stalls bail application
The planned hearing of the bail application filed by the immediate-past Attorneygeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, suffered a setback at the high Court of the Federal Capital Territory high Court in Maitama, on Tuesday.
The bail application will no longer be heard until after the court resumes from its vacation on January 6.
Justice Othman Musa had on December 20 issued an order permitting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to hold Adoke in custody for 14 days pending investigation.
But on Tuesday, Justice Musa sent the ex-agf’s bail application to the Chief Judge of the court, Justice Ishaq Bello, for reassignment to another judge of the court before whom charges had already been filed against the EX-AGF.
The judge’s directive followed the request by Adoke’s lawyer, Mr Benson Igbanoi, for an adjournment of the hearing of the application to another applicant’s legal team to respond to the counter-affidavit filed by the EFCC in opposition to it.
Igbanoi, holding the brief of Adoke’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), had at the Tuesday’s proceedings urged Justice Musa, who sits as the court’s vacation judge, to adjourn the hearing till January 2.
But the EFCC’S counsel, Mr Bala Sanga, noted that it was better to have the application sent back to the judge handling the pending criminal charges since the vacation of the court’s judges would end soon.
The judge agreed with Sanga, noting that since the 20-day detention order he had issued on December 20 would end on January 2, and other judges of the court would resume from their vacation on January 6, “the appropriate order to make is to remit the case file back to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge.”
Adoke, who had since 2016 been charged with $1.1bn Malabu Oil scam, returned to the country on December 19, thus ending his over four years of self-exile.
he was immediately arrested on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja by the operatives of the International Police Organisation and handed over to the EFCC.