A Federal High Court sitting in Katsina has granted bail to former governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, who is standing trial on a 26 count charge of laundering about N5.7 billion SURE-P funds when he was in office.
Mr Joseph Daudu, SAN., counsel to the former governor had argued before the court that sections 158, 162 and 165 sub (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) allows an accused to seek for bail and that his client is innocent up until the case is decided by the court.
He also told the court that Shema was a governor for two terms and will obey the terms of the bail if he is granted.
However, the prosecution counsel, J.O Olatoke, SAN told the court not to accede to the bail request as the governor is not likely to obey the conditions.
According to him, Shema whose international passport was in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) had applied for the release of his passport.
After hearing from both sides, Justice Babagana Ashigar granted bail application of Shema on self-recognition.
He however directed the former governor to deposit his international passport with he court registry.
He said, ‘’The court considered section 35 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and sections 162, 163 and 158 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act to grant the bail.’’
The case was adjourned to June 12 for continued hearing.
Meanwhile, the former Katsina Governor also has a case to answer at the Katsina State High Court for the alleged misappropriation of N11billion from the State/Local Government Joint Account.