|Former Governor Sule Lamido being led to prison in Kano.|
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, re-arraigned the former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido and his two sons, Aminu and Mustapha, before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The erstwhile governor, who on July 14, regained his freedom from prison where he spent five days with his sons, entered fresh plea to an amended 27-count criminal charge against him by the anti-graft agency.
Lamido and his sons were previously arraigned on July 9 and remanded in prison custody by trial Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Kano Division of the high court over a 28-count charge that bothered on his alleged complicity in money laundering.
His case file was subsequently transferred to Abuja, where he was eventually released on bail.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who entertained the case as a vacation judge, had in his ruling granted Lamido bail on self-recognition owing to his status as a former governor.
The court, however, ordered his sons and their alleged accomplice, Wada Abubakar, to deposit N25 million each.
All the accused persons, including Lamido, were also directed to surrender their passports and other travelling documents to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the High Court.
Aside Lamido, all the other accused persons were asked to produce two persons to stand surety for them in the like sum.
According to the court, one of the sureties must be a civil servant who is either with the federal or any of the state governments, not below grade level 16.
The court stressed that the second surety must show evidence of three years tax clearance, own a landed property, either in Abuja or Kano State, that is valued above N75 million, adding that the title deed of such property should be deposited to the court.
Besides, Justice Kolawole ordered the sureties to submit two of their recent passport photographs, as well as depose to affidavit of means showing that they could pay the bail bonds, should any of the accused persons abscond from trial.
Though the court said it would transfer their case file back to Kano, EFCC, yesterday, re-docked them on a reduced charge.
Meanwhile, after the accused persons yesterday pleaded not guilty to the amended charge, the new trial judge, Justice Ademola Adeniyi, following an application by the defence counsel, Mr. Offiong Offiong (SAN), allowed them to go home on the basis of the previous bail conditions that were earlier handed to them by the court.
The EFCC lawyer, Mr. Chile Okoroma, did not object to their release on bail.
Meanwhile, Justice Adeniyi has fixed October 9 to commence hearing on the substantive charge against them.
They are facing trial over charges bothering on corruption, money laundering, breach of trust and illegal diversion of public funds to the tune of N1.35 billion.
Lamido was equally alleged to have collected kickbacks from contractors in the state, with the funds allegedly paid into accounts that were managed by his sons.
Four companies that were allegedly involved in the fraud (Bamaina Holdings Limited, Bamiana Company Nigeria Limited, Bamaina Aluminum Limited and Speeds International Limited), were also charged as the 5th to 8th accused persons in the matter.
Lamido was said to have abused his position as governor between 2007 and 2015, by awarding contracts to compa-nies where he had interest, using his two sons as front.