Wednesday, June 21, 2017 9:28 am
An Igbosere Chief Magistrate Court, in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the release of Aliyu Pategi, a member of House of Representatives, representing Edu/Moro Federal Constituency, from the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
Pategi was arrested by the EFCC and ordered to be remanded in the anti graft agency’s custody by the court last Friday over his failure to produce Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, a former Minister for State Defence and Federal Capital Territory who he had stood for as a surety.
He however regained his freedon as his counsel, Mr. Olusegun Williams informed the court that the person whom his client stood for had submitted herself to the Lagos office of EFCC.
Consequently, he withdrew the two applications for bail and Notice of Preliminary Objection filed before the court challenging the court jurisdiction to entertain EFCC application against his client.
Confirming Williams’ submission, lawyer to the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, said: “I confirm from Operation of the EFCC, Lagos, that Oloye Jumoke Akinjide has now turn herself in and currently in the custody of the EFCC.
“Since it was inability of the second respondent to produce her that triggered the application filed before the court, we would therefore in the interest of justice apply that this suit be struck out in view of success made by the Pategi to secure the appearance of Jumoke Akinjide “.
Upon the submissions of both parties, the court struck out the suit and ordered Pategi ‘s release.
The EFCC had last Friday, through an application filed before the court sought an order of the court to remand the house of Representative member pending when he will be arraigned in court or produce the person he stood surety for.
EFCC had told the court that Pategi stood surety for the former minister who has a pending criminal charge against her before the Federal High Court in Ibadan.
EFCC is prosecuting Akinjinde for allegedly collecting N650m out of the $115m allegedly doled out by the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezaani Alison-Madueke to campaign for the 2015 general election.
Aliyu was said to have, on August 10, 2016, entered a bail bond of N650m to secure an administrative bail for Akinjinde, but the former minister was said to have jumped the bail.
Akinjide’s non-appearance had stalled her arraignment before a Federal High Court in Ibadan with the court threatening to strike out the charge should the EFCC fail to produce her.
On Friday, EFCC dragged Aliyu before the magistrate court in Lagos, praying for his remand as Akinjide had absconded.
The court had rejected an oral bail application for Aliyu by his lawyer, Adenrele Adegborioye, who had urged the court to note his client’s status as a serving House of Representatives member.
Counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the Magistrate that Aliyu entered a bail bond of N650m being the sum allegedly collected by Jumoke Akinjide from Diezani.
The EFCC, in a 16-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one of its operatives, Danladi Daniel, said “That an intelligent report was received sometime in 2016 that Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and others benefited the total sum of N650m from the proceed of the gratification received by the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deizani Alison-Madueke, from some oil marketers.
The EFCC said upon Akinjide’s invitation to its office on August 9, 2016, she volunteered a statement, following which she was released on administrative bail entered by Aliyu on August 10, 2016.