Bello Abbas; remanded in Kuje Prison till Thursday. Photo:Femi Ipaye
Justice Ahmed Mohammed of Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday ordered that Abbah, the son of Bello Haliru Mohammed, former chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP be remanded in Kuje Prison.
Abbah was arraigned alongside his father on a four count-charge of money laundering involving about N300m.
The EFCC alleged they collected the money from the office of the National Security Adviser, out of the money meant to buy arms to fight insurgency in Nigeria’s north east.
Dr Mohammed Bello Haliru: in court today: remanded in Abuja Clinics
Abbah will be remanded in Kuje prison pending 7 January when Justice Mohammed will deliver judgment on his and father’s bail applications.
The Judge however ordered his father, who had pleaded not guilty to the charges alongside his son should be returned to Abuja Clinics from where he was brought in an ambulance to court while Solomon Arase, the Inspector General of Police should ensured that he is closely monitored at the hospital.
Barrister Aliyu Yusuf, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had asked the court to remand the accused in prison and set the dates for trial immediately their pleas were taken.
But lawyers to the former PDP Chairman and his son urged the court to grant them bail on self recognition or on very liberal terms because the offences allegedly committed by their clients were bailable.
In addition, the lawyers argued that the accused are unlikely to interfere with investigations or run away if granted bail. They also argued that the two accused are suffering from different health related problems. Lawyer to Abbah noted that his client was in EFCC detention for 41 days before he was granted administrative bail by the anti graft agency.
The ambulance that brought Haliru Mohammd Bello to court today
Barrister Ibrahim who represented the former PDP National Chairman also argued that he should be granted bail because he has just returned from a London Hospital where his spinal cord was operated upon.
The lawyer noted that the PDP chieftain came to the court from the Abuja hospital where he was recuperating in an ambulance and was wheeled to the court accompanied by two nurses.
He added that his client is over 70 years old and has served the nation in many capacities and as such, he is not the kind of person that will jump bail.
Lawyer to the EFCC said the court should be judicious in the exercise of its discretion to grant bail. He also argued that the defendant had not deposed to any affidavit to indicate that the kind of ailment he is suffering from cannot be treated at the hospital attached to the prison.
Instead of granting the bail application, EFCC urged the Judge to accelerate the hearing of the suit.
The EFCC had in the four-count charge alleged thatAbbah received the funds from the office of the National Security Adviser in the name of Bam Properties.