“Release Me On Health Grounds”, Detained Ex-CDS, Badeh Begs Court For Bail

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Alex-Badeh1The immediate past Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) has prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja, to grant him bail on health grounds.
The former defence chief has been in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos since February 8, 2016 when he honoured the commission’s invitation for questioning.
Badeh is accused of complicity in an alleged fraudulent transaction involving the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
His request is contained in a bail application he filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja.
After 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.
The lawyer said the former CDS 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.
He further argued that the alleged case of fraud for which Badeh was invited for the EFCC, was a bailable 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 the ex-CDS be granted bail because a Federal High Court is superior to the magistrate court.”
In a counter-argument, EFCC’s lawyer, Cosmas Ugwu, 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, in opposing the application, also informed the court that Badeh was being held under a remand order issued by a Lagos magistrate court because he was mentioned in the NIMASA fraud allegation.

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