THE Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday freed Senator Ali Ndume, (APC Borno South Senatorial district) from Kuje Prison where he was remanded on Monday for failure to produce alleged pension thief, Abdulrasheed Maina, by the Honourable Justice Okon Abang.
Justice Abang, who remanded Senator Ndume and also gave the Friday ruling granting him bail, said the court decided to exercise its discretionary powers based on the senator’s good conduct in the course of Maina’s trial and despite his failure to meet other conditions in his bail bond.
Maina, Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team (PRTT), for whom Senator Ndume stood as surety, is standing trial for allegedly stealing billions of pension funds. He is currently being tried in absentia.
Justice Abang ordered Senator Ndume to deposit his passport with the Chief Registrar of the court, produce one surety who must be a resident of Abuja and present evidence of ownership of property anywhere in Abuja. The surety must also depose to an affidavit of means to indicate his readiness to forfeit the bail guaranty should the senator jump bail.
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.
Court jails Rep member
Meanwhile, an Abuja Magistrates’ Court sitting in Wuse, Zone 6 has sentenced a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Victor Mela who represents Billiri/Balanga federal constituency to one month imprisonment for perjury.
Hon. Mela was convicted for swearing to an affidavit three times denying citizenship of another country whereas he has a Canadian passport. He was accused lying under oath while filling CD001 INEC form prior to the 2019 elections.
The court had on November 10, 2020, after finding Hon. Mela guilty set a different date for sentencing of the lawmaker after his lawyer pleaded for leniency.
The lawmaker had after the November 10 judgment by the magistrate said via a tweet that he would appeal the judgment. “I would like to call on our friends, supporters and our sympathisers to remain calm as well as rest assured that I will challenge today’s perverse decision at the appellate court, immediately,” Mela had tweeted but it is unclear if he has filed the appealed.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2019 and is vice chairman of the solid minerals committee.