On Tuesday a Senior Magistrates’ Court, in Wuse Zone 2 Abuja granted bail of N7 million to a former police officer, Musa Musa, for breaking into the house of former President Goodluck Jonathan and making away with his properties.
Musa, who broke into Jonathan’s apartment at Gwarinpa Abuja on the 5th of July, is charged with mischief and theft.
In her ruling, Senior Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello, ordered the defendant to produce one reliable surety who must be a civil servant.
Segun-Bello said that the surety must also reside within the FCT.
According to her, the provision of the constitution is clear about the right to liberty of every individual but where reasons exist that the accused will jump bail, bail will be denied.
“Sufficient reason was not placed before the court that the accused will jump bail or a concrete evidence that the matter is of national interest,’’ Segun-Bello said.
The magistrate, therefore, adjourned the matter for hearing until October 3.
The Prosecutor, Stanley Nwodo had told the court that the matter was reported to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command on July 5.
Nwodo said that the defendant stole all the internal fittings, furniture, clothes, electrical fittings, water heater and kitchen utensils from the house.
The others items, he said, were wardrobes, chandeliers, refrigerators, doors and canopies valued N30 million. He said that the offence contravened sections 353, 326 and 288 of the Penal Code Cap 89, Laws of the Northern Nigeria 1963.
Musa, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The prosecutor opposed the application for bail, contending that the matter was already an issue of national interest.
According to him, if the defendant is granted bail, he will definitely jumped bail.
Nwodo said that granting bail to the defendant would contravene the provision of Section 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
“The accused will jump bail if it is granted, he has no provision for a reliable surety, justice is not one way traffic, I prayed this court to remand him in prison,’’ he said.
Gabriel Egbule, the Counsel to the defendant had urged the court to admit his client to bail because he was still innocent until the contrary was proved.
Egbule said that the offence was bailable and urged that bail should be granted to him on liberal terms.
He also cited Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution and sections 158 and 162 of the ACJA that allow the court to exercise its discretion in favour of his client.
He said that the prosecution had not shown sufficient cause why his client should be refused bail.
“The prosecution has not told the court whether the matter is a capital offence or deal with national security. We urged this court to be guided by the law of the land and admit the defendant to bail. No material evidence has been placed before the court to show that the defendant will jump bail,’’ Egbule said.