The Federal Government on Wednesday re-arraigned the immediate past Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and three other defendants for allegations bordering on fraud.
The former AGF was first arraigned on July 22 before a vacation judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice O Adeyemi Ajayi by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 13-count charge bordering on misappropriation to the tune of N109.5 billion.
However, upon the resumption of the court, the case was transferred to Justice Yusuf Halilu before whom the defendants were re-arraigned today.
Other defendants are Geoffrey Olusegun Akindele; Mohammed Kudu Usman and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited.
All of them pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by EFCC when read to them in the open court.
Following their not-guilty plea, counsel for the former AGF, Chief Chris Uche SAN, applied that the defendants be allowed to continue to enjoy the earlier bail granted them by the court on July 28, submitting that they have been complying with their bail conditions.
Counsels for other defendants aligned themselves with Uche’s application and submission.
Prosecuting counsel, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, told the court that the prosecution was not objecting to the application. He, however, left the decision to the court to exercise its discretion.
Ruling on the application, Justice Halilu held that bail is a constitutional right of a defendant, adding that having been previously granted bail by the court, he is favourably inclined to allow the defendants to continue enjoying the early bail granted them by the court.
He, however, directed that defendants submit their passports to the court’s registrar, adding that if the documents are with the prosecution, they should pass the same to the registrar.
Based on the consensus of the prosecution and defence teams, Justice Halilu adjourned the case to November 23 for a hearing.