Judge sends Adoke’s file to CJ, stalls bail ap­pli­ca­tion

The Punch - - NEWS - Ade Ade­s­o­moju, Abuja

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.

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