The Central Criminal Court in London has again denied bail to former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. The Judge said the bail would not make much difference “as the trial is just over a month away.”
The court in a partial hearing on Tuesday, December 21, 2022, denied the bail on the ground that Ekweremadu was a flight risk citing the letter and assets forfeiture proceedings against the senator by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Ekweremadu’s lawyer in the bail application before the London court was reported to have argued that the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Attorney-General of the Federal had written to the court that his client was not a flight risk.
The defence also gave a guarantee to produce the lawmaker should he pose a flight risk, adding that the Nigeria High Commission in the UK had equally given the option of tagging Ekweremadu electronically to monitor his movement.[ruby_related heading=”More Read” total=5 layout=1]
Also citing other character attestation by other well-respected Nigerians and organisations, the lawyer further argued that the lawmaker had proven to be a caring and responsible father and could not escape from London, abandoning his wife and sick daughter.
The lawyer told the court that they had sureties and securities of nearly half a million pounds sterling from 11 people to secure Ekweremadu’s release on bail, saying the lawmaker is a highly regarded, well-known public figure.
Despite the defence argument, the prosecution insisted that Ekweremadu was a flight risk arguing that as a holder of international passports from two other countries, he could escape to any of the other countries asides from Nigeria.
The prosecution also cited the 18th July 2022 letter by the EFCC signed on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Abdulraheed Bawa by the Assistant Director Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkoi.
Having heard from both sides, the Judge said the bail would not make much difference “as the trial is just over a month away.”
The judge, therefore, declared his ruling saying, “this bail application is refused.”
The trial of the Ekweremadus will therefore begin on 31st January 2023.