P&ID: Court returns Taiga to prison pending fulfilment of bail conditions

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Justice O.A. Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja on Wednesday, granted bail to Mrs. Grace Taiga, a female accomplice in the multiple fraud, involving Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), but returned her to Suleja Prison in Niger State, pending the fulfillment of her bail conditions.

Taiga, who was arraigned on Monday, September 20, 2019 is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on eight-count amended charges that border on bribe taking and sundry crimes.

The 69-years-old Taiga, a lawyer and former director, Legal Services in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was a key actor in the fraudulent Gas Supply and Processing Agreement (GSPA) between the federal government and P&ID, and is also alleged to have used her position to administer undue favours to the company.

At Wednesday’s resumed sitting, defence counsel, Ola Olanipekun filed an application for bail and told the court that the “application was served and the prosecution has responded,” and that “the application is supported by an affidavit and seek to rely on the affidavit and the evidence.” He also filed a written address in support of the bail application and urged the court “to focus on exhibit tendered which are medical information of the defendant.”

The prosecution team of Abba Muhammad and Hadiza Afegbua on their part urged the court to refuse the bail application, especially “as there is no material to show that the ailment of the defendant cannot be cured in Nigeria.”

The prosecution further urged the court to refuse the bail application “for the purpose of the defendant to come to court for trial. The mere presentation of medical report is not sufficient,” it said.

Muhammad equally urged the court to discount the argument of the defence and to look at the evidence presented. “We urge the court to discount the argument of the defence. We also urge the court to strike out paragraph seven of the defendant affidavit,” Muhammad said.

Justice Adeniyi, however, granted the accused bail in the sum of N10million (Ten Million Naira) with two sureties in the like sum. The judge stipulated that the two sureties must be Nigerian citizens and resident within the jurisdiction of the court. The sureties shall also be persons employed in the public or civil service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any of its agencies and shall not be less in cadre than directors. And shall depose to affidavit of means of livelihood.

The court also stipulated that the defendant shall deposit her travel documents with the court pending the determination of her trial and ordered to obtain the requisite permit of the court at any time she considers it needful to travel outside the shores of Nigeria upon cogent and verifiable ground and upon obtaining the requisite consent of her sureties.

The court remanded her in Suleja Prison pending the fulfilment of her bail conditions.

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