By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
After spending four days in detention, reprieve came to Senator Ali Ndume on Friday as the Federal High Court in Abuja granted him.
The Borno South Senator had been in prison since Monday over his suretyship for Abdulrasheed Maina believed to have jumped bail.
Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Friday said he chose to grant the senator bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, notwithstanding that the other grounds of his bail application failed.
The judge granted bail to the senator pending the hearing and determination of Ndume’s appeal filed at the Court of Appeal to challenge Monday’s order sending him to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing Maina.
He ordered the senator to produce one surety who must be a resident of Abuja and present evidence of ownership of property anywhere in Abuja.
According to the judge, the surety must also depose to an affidavit of means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the senator jump bail.
The judge also ordered the senator to deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the court.
He also ordered the lawmaker to file an undertaking that he would compile records of appeal and transmit it to the Court of Appeal within 10 days, a way the court wants him to demonstrate his readiness to prosecute his appeal.
Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2bn.
On November 18, 2020, Justice Abang revoked the bail granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial would proceed in absentia.
The judge also on Monday remanded Ndume in prison until he produced Maina or paid the sum of N500m bail bond to the Federation Account.
Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, had on Tuesday filed an appeal against the remand order at the Court of Appeal, along with an application for the bail of the defendant filed before Justice Abang.