The Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna on Wednesday granted bail to former governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero and three others standing trial over alleged money laundering.
Yero was arraigned alongside a former minister, Nuhu Wya, ex-PDP chairman in the state, Abubakar Gaya-Haruna and former secretary to the state government, Hamza Ishaq.
They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a four-count charge bordering on laundering over N700 million in 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that when the case came up on May 30, all the four defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The court had remanded them in prison custody and fixed today to consider their application for bail.
At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, counsel to the defendants, Yunus Ustaz (SAN) asked the court to grant his clients bail, saying they would not interfere in any way to thwart the trial.
“The defendants were early in 2016 invited by EFCC and at no time were they found wanting when they were granted administrative bail as they did not default.
“If granted bail, the defendants would not jump bail nor commit any offence and would not tamper with EFCC investigation.’’
The prosecution counsel, Joshua Saidi, however opposed the application for bail, saying that the defendants may use their influence to tamper with investigation and prayed the court to remand the defendants.
The Judge, Justice Mohammed Shua’ibu after listening to the arguments of both sides granted the defendants bail in the sum of N1 million each with two reliable sureties each in like sum.
He said that the sureties should have landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
The judge also ordered that the defendants should surrender their International passport to the Registrar of the court
The case has been adjourned till Sept. 26, for hearing.
Meanwhile, one of the lawyers for Yero has said that the former governor would sue the EFCC for releasing his mugshot on the social media.