Court remands Saraki’s ex-aide, immigration official in prison over forgery charges
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered that a former Senior Special Assistant to ex-Senate President, Bukola Saraki – Mohammed Toyin Jimoh Sanusi – and one other be remanded in prison following their arraignment on charges of forgery and conspiracy.
Justice Okon Abang ordered that Sanusi and Miss Onyinye Janefrances Nwoye, an official of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIM) – with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Immigration, on Grande Level 10 – remain in prison until they are able to meet the conditions attached to the bail granted them.
Sanusi and Nwoye were arraigned on a four-count charge in which they were accused of forging documents to procure Nigeria’s official passport, meant for senior government officials for Sanusi, who was presented as Deputy Director at the State House Medical Centre Abuja.
They were alleged to have committed the offences with another senior Immigration official named: Sidikat Bidemi Babatunde, who is said to be at large.
In his statement filed in court, Sanusi said he worked as Personal Assistant to the former Senate President’s late father, Abubakar Olusola Saraki (between 2002 and 2007), Chairman of Ilorin West Local Government (between 2007 and 2010), Chief of Staff to while the ex-Senate President was the Governor of Kwara State (2011-2015) and Senior Special Assistant on Political Matters to Saraki as Senate President (2015-2018).
Sanusi and Nwoye pleaded not guilty when the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/170/2019 was read to them, following which the lead prosecuting lawyer, Collins Obilor urged the court to set a date for the commencement of trial.
Obilor also prayed the court to remand the defendants in prison pending the date set for trial.
Lawyers to the defendants, Lukman Fagbemi (for Sanusi) and Kelvin Mejulu (for Nwoye) applied orally for bail for their clients.
In a ruling, Justice Abang granted the defendants bail at N1million and one surety each in like sum.
The judge said the sureties, who must own landed property in Abuja, worth N1m, must depose to affidavit of means and their willingness to forfeit such an amount if any of the defendant jumps bail.
He adjourned until December 9, 2019 for the prosecution to open its case and ordered that the defendants be kept in prison until they are able to meet the bail conditions.