27 June 2016
An Abuja High Court, on Monday granted bail to Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu over the bribery charge brought against them before the court.
The two pleaded not guilty to the charge of forging and illegally altering the Senate’s Standing Rules used in electing leaders and inaugurating the upper legislative chamber on June 9, 2015, illegally.
Saraki and Ekweremadu were charged in court alongside a former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and his deputy, Benedict Efeturi
They were granted bail after their arraignment but Justice Haliru Yusuf ruled that they should be detained at the Kuje Maximum Prison pending the time they meet their bail conditions.
The accused are expected to provide two sureties each with evidence of properties in Wuse, Asokoro, Maitama and Garki areas of Abuja.
Mr. Saraki’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, later told journalists that his client had met the bail condition and was proceeding home.
All four defendants were later seen leaving the court premises the way they came.
The trial began Monday after Justice Yusuf of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja asked the prosecution to issue notice of summons for the matter to the defendants by pasting it on the notice board of the National Assembly on June 21.
Reacting to the application for bail earlier, Director of Public Prosecution, Moammed Diri, asked for time to allow him file a counter-affidavit. His application was granted and the case was stood down for one hour.
Outside the court premises a group of protesters were seeing carrying placards and chanting: “Defend our democracy’’, “let democracy prevail”, among others.