Dasukigate: Court Orders IG To Place Ex-PDP Chair, Bello Mohammed Under Watch In hospital, Remands Son In Kuje Prison
A former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ex-Defence Minister, Dr. Haliru Mohammed Bello and his son, Abba, were yesterday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja over the alleged $2.1 billion arms scam.
Bello and his son were arraigned on a four-count charge of receiving N300 million from the office of the former National Security Adviser (NSA) on March 17, 2015.
The accused persons were arraigned alongside their company, Bam Projects and Properties Ltd.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, who heard the former PDP chairman’s case, said he should be placed under intensive watch by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase during his treatment at an Abuja hospital as his trial continues.
NGTrends reports that Mr. Bello was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair.
Justice Mohammed also ordered that Abba Bello be remand in custody at the Kuje Prison in Abuja pending the ruling on the bail application of the two accused persons.
Before delivering the ruling, Justice Mohammed had listened to arguments by counsel to Mr. Bello, Abdulaziz Ibrahim, who said that his client just returned to the country from a spinal cord surgery in a UK hospital.
According to him, Bello upon hearing of the charges leveled against him and the conditions attached, decided to fly into the country and even had to be treated at an Abuja clinic, because his surgery was still fresh.
He said exhibits four attached to his affidavit contained a letter given to Mr. Bello by the surgeon attending to his case.
He added that there were also pictures of the former PDP chairman while receiving treatment.
Mr. Ibrahim stressed that the accused person is an elder statesman, who would not do anything to undermine the course of justice.
Also, counsel to Abba, O. Osoka, argued that his client had an ailment which could not be properly treated in prison.
Besides, he pointed out that the accused had already spent 41 days in EFCC custody.
Opposing the bail applications, prosecution counsel, Aliyu Yusuf, said the accused persons did not show that their ailments could not be treated in prison medical facilities.
He argued that releasing the accused persons on bail could affect the course of justice because the offences attract punishment of up to14 years imprisonment.
He asked the court to issue an order for accelerated hearing.
After listening to arguments by prosecuting and defence counsels, Justice Mohammed ruled that Abba be remanded in Kuje prison while his father, Bello, be placed under surveillance by the IGP during the course of his treatment in the hospital.
He thereafter adjourned the case till Thursday, January 7, 2016.