Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja, on Friday July 1, 2016 granted bail to a former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.
He was charged June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a 5-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9billion.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Mohammed held that,” since the EFCC, being the complainant, had already released the defendant on administrative bail since June 15, 2016, with no complaint of defaulting contained in their counter affidavit, there was no evident reason as to why reservations were harbored this time.
“The court has not seen any reason not to admit the first defendant (Fintiri) to bail pending determination of the case, and so, the defendant is hereby admitted to bail in the sum of N500million with two sureties in like sum, who must have landed properties within Abuja. The title documents of the properties are to be submitted with the court registrar along with the international passport of the defendant”, Justice Mohammed ruled.
“The first defendant is not to travel out of the country pending determination of case. The two sureties are to submit two recent passport photographs. The defendant is to remain in prison custody pending satisfaction of bail conditions”, the judge added.
Counsel to EFCC, Aso Larrys Peters, immediately brought to the court’s notice, the fact that the defendant has two international passports and had only submitted one to EFCC, while making arrangements to travel with the other.
Fintiri’s counsel, Maxwell Gidado, SAN, denied the claim, saying, “it is a crime in Nigeria to own two passports.”
Justice Mohammed acknowledged the possibility of the defendant having both an ‘ordinary’ and a ‘diplomatic’ passport. He then directed that the passport in the EFCC should be brought to the court, while the defendant would sign an undertaking barring him from international travel pending the determination of the case.
Thereafter, the matter was adjourned till October 6, 2016 for commencement of trial.