A Minna Chief Magistrate court on Wednesday remanded the Niger APC Chairman Engineer Jibrim Iman and the Treasurer, Shari Abdulsalam, at the Minna correctional center pending the ruling on their bail application tomorrow (Friday).
The duo and two others at large were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Nasiru Muazu on a three count charge of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation, all contrary to section, 97, 312, and 309 of the penal code law.
The prosecuting ASP Ahmed Saidu had told the court that Imam and Shafi along with the two others still at large connived to misappropriate nearly N800million belonging to the All Progressive Congress (APC), Niger state chapter.
According to Ahmed Saidu, the monies were withdrawn from two new generation banks in Minna, the Niger state capital between 1st June, 2014 and 1st June, 2020.
The prosecution also alleged that the accused persons “also misappropriated other funds of All Progressive Congress, Niger state chapter that were made willfully, and you all dishonestly converted to your personal uses the said monies”, saying that the said monies were withdrawn by the accused persons without memo and have remained unaccounted for.
The prosecution further alleged that the welfare officer of the party, Alhaji Muka Fasasy confessed to have collected N4.8million from members of the state house assembly which the accused persons allegedly shared.
The prosecution therefore told the court that because of the gravity of the offense against the accused persons, he was opposed to their bail in addition to the fact that two of the accused are still at large.
He also told the court that he was opposing their bail to enable the police “carry out” proper investigation, insisting also that “proper investigation will not be carried out if they are released on bail because they have been frustrating the investigation”.
Sighting section 341 paragraph 2 of the criminal procedure code, Saidu said the offenses allegedly committed “attract heavy punishment of not less than seven years of imprisonment so it not ordinarily billable”.
However, counsel to the accused persons, Isah Suleiman urged the court to allow bail for his client, saying that the law provides that bail should be given for all manners of offenses “except for capital offenses, this not a capital offense”.
In addition, Suleiman said one of the accused persons has medical challenge including being diabetic, physical challenge and high blood pressure which has been making him to frequent hospital.
The counsel further submitted that the accused persons have being on police bail and have never jump bail, submitting that “if the police grant bail to back to do the court to refuse bail to an accused person”.
Chief Magistrate however chided council to the accused persons fir not providing the court with the medical records of one of the accused persons, saying also “the medical record should have been brought for the court to see.
Muazu also criticized the counsel for not presenting before the court writing application for bail “since you have ample opportunity to do so”.
However he reserved the ruling on the oral bail application till tomorrow (Friday) and directed that the accused persons should be kept at the Minna correctional center.