Immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) has urged the Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him bail on health grounds.
Badeh has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos since February 8, 2016 when he honoured the agency’s invitation for questioning.
Badeh is accused of complicity in an alleged fraudulent transactions involving the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Badeh’s request is contained in a bail application he filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja
After the hearing arguments on the application on Monday, Justice James Tsoho fixed March 4 for ruling.
Arguing the application on Monday, applicant’s lawyer, Samuel Zibiri (SAN), who filed the bail application dated February 15, said though the EFCC had granted his client bail, the ex-CDS could not meet it because of the “onerous conditions” attached to it.
He said his client was recovering from a recent surgery and also had a history of kidney stone.
Zibiri hinged the application on Section 35(4) and Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution and sections 158, 162 and 165(1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
He urged the court to grant bail to his client on self recognizance, or on such favourable and liberal terms as the court might deem fit to make.
Zibiri equally prayed the court to grant him bail pending the completion of investigation by the EFCC and/or arraignment before this court.
Badeh’s lawyer argued that the alleged case of fraud for which his client was invited was a bail able offence.
“There is no reason for, or any likelihood that the applicant will jump bail, escape from Justice, interfere with witnesses or investigation if same is still ongoing, or the course of justice upon his being granted bail.
“The applicant has no criminal antecedent or records. The applicant owing to his status in the society can be granted bail on self recognizance, or on the most liberal of terms, as he will be available to attend any invitation by the respondents at all times.
“That the applicant’s health condition is bad and he recently had surgery on his spine which requires constant post-operative follow-up by his physician as well as renal condition which he is currently undergoing treatment for.”
Zibiri said Badeh’s detention by virtue of a remand order issued by a Magistrate’s Court in Lagos “is a gross abuse of the ACJA 2015” insisting he should be granted bail because a Federal High Court is superior to the magistrate court.”
Responding, EFCC’s lawyer, Cosmas Ugwu, in opposing the application, told the court that Badeh had not made any effort to fulfil the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in Lagos.
“He is in custody in Lagos. Abuja is not holding him, so, the convenient court to grant the applicant bail is a court within the same territorial jurisdiction,” Ugwu argued.
The EFCC lawyer also informed the court that Badeh was being held under a remand order issued by a Lagos magistrate court because he was manipulated in the NIMASA fraud allegation.