A Federal High Court setting in Abuja has on Monday, granted bail to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, his Deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the fourth defendant over charges of alleged forgery of the Nigerian Senate Standing Rules.
The court’s decision was reached on Monday when the accused appeared before the court. The court asked them to produce two reasonable sureties who must be Nigerian men or women. Adding that the sureties must own properties in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse II or Garki areas in the Federal Capital Territory.
The presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, said the accused would be remanded in Kuje Prison, if they fail to meet the bail conditions. Saraki’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, told journalists that his client had met the bail condition and was proceeding home.
The Federal Government had last week charged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, of forging. The charges were filed after the controversial election and inauguration of the two principal officers on June 9, 2015. Charged alongside them are the immediate past Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his deputy Benedict Efeturi.
Days after the elections, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi (APC-Kaduna North) petitioned the Inspector General of Police, alleging that the Standing Rules used for the exercise was forged. He accused the officials of conspiracy, and demanded criminal investigation of the matter.
The police later launched an investigation, submitting a detailed report to the nation’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami. The FG then took steps to press criminal charges against the Senate president and the three other officials.
Appearing in court on Monday, the accused had pleaded not guilty to charges of forgery of the Senate Standing Order. The court however, adjourned the proceedings till July 11 for commencement of trial.