Suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AG-F) Ahmed Idris has been re-arraigned on a 14-count charge bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust of N109.5 billion.
Idris was re-arraigned along with three others before a new judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Justice Yusuf Halilu.
The other defendants are: Godfrey Olusegun Akindele (a Technical Assistant to Idris); a director in the office of the AG-F, Mohammed Kudu Usman, and a firm linked with Idris – Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
Idris and others were earlier arraigned on July 22 before Justice Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi who sat as the court’s vacation judge.
The case was later reassigned to Justice Halilu after the court’s vacation.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them on Tuesday, and the defendants’ lead lawyer, Chris Uche (SAN), applied that they be allowed to continue to enjoy the earlier bail granted them on July 28 by the former judge.
Uche said the defendants had dutifully complied with their bail conditions.
Prosecuting lawyer Oluwaleke Atolagbe did not object to the request that the defendants be allowed to remain on the earlier bail.
The lawyer said the prosecution would allow the court to exercise its discretion on the issue.
Ruling, Justice Halilu held that bail is a constitutional right of a defendant.
The judge added that having been previously granted bail by the court, he remained favourably disposed to allowing the defendants to remain on the earlier bail granted them by the court.
He ordered, among others, that the defendants should submit their international passports to the court’s Registrar and adjourned till November 23 for the commencement of trial.