Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, told an FCT High Court on Wednesday that considering the gravity of the charges against a former Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda; a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki; a former Director in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, and other defendants, it was risky to grant them bail.
Yuguda is standing trial alongside Dasuki and Salisu on allegations of corruption.
Also named as defendants in the case were former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; his son, Sagir; and their company, Dalhatu Investment Limited.
They were arraigned by the EFCC on a 22-count charge of alleged criminal breach of trust and diversion of public funds amounting to N19.5 billion.
At the resumed hearing of the bail application filed by the defendant lawyers, Jacobs told the court that going by the nature of the charges against them and the proof of evidence, it would be risky to grant them bail.
He said: “If they were granted bail, they may not be available to stand trial because the count in the charge attracts 10 years in prison.
“The tendency for the accused to jump bail is high.”
Jacobs argued that at the time the defendants answered EFCC’s invitation, they were not aware of the gravity of the offences against them.
He said: “My lord, granting them bail will send a wrong signal to the public.
“It is even a risk to release them because many soldiers had died.
“Their families feel the pains as a result of the actions of the accused persons because N19.5 billion that was meant to buy arms for soldiers to fight insurgency was diverted.”
Jacobs prayed the court to reject all the submissions canvassed by the defence lawyers as they were not fit enough to stand as cogent reason to warrant bail.
He therefore urged the court to refuse the bail application in the interest of justice.
In his argument, counsel to Yuguda, Peter Akpe (SAN), said the offences, which his client was standing trial for, were bailable.
Akpe said his client was granted administrative bail by the EFCC and he did not jump bail.
He therefore urged the court to grant his client bail on most liberal terms.
In his submission, the counsel to Dasuki, Ahmed Raji (SAN), said it was the discretionary power of a judge to grant bail either on self recognition or in the most liberal terms.
Raji said the fact that the prosecution had further investigation to carry out should not deny his client bail.
He therefore urged the court to grant Dasuki bail in self recognition as it was the case in the Federal High Court, Abuja where he was granted bail on self recognition.
On their part, counsel to Bafarawa, his son Sagir and their company Dalhatu Investment Limited and Salisu unanimously urged the court to admit their clients bail on liberal terms.