Former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, his two sons, and five others whose corruption trial began in 2015 may be re- arraigned afresh before the Federal High Court Abuja.
Fact about their fresh arraignment emerged Monday as the trial Court judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri remitted the case file to the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Abdul-Kafarati to reassign the case to another judge.
When the matter came up on Monday for continuation of trial, Justice Quadri informed the parties he was remitting the case back to the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court as the Court of Appeal had ruled that the matter should be returned to Justice Adeniyi Ademola’s court where the defendants were first arraigned in 2015.
The matter was re- assigned to Justice Quadri following the suspension of Justice Ademola. Not satisfied with the decision the defendants appealed against the transfer on the ground that the prosecution had called almost all of its witnesses, 18 witnesses and had only two left to close its case before the CJ transferred the matter.
Unfortunately for the defendants, a month after the appellate court ruled that they be sent to Justice Ademola’s court, National Judicial Council (NJC), compulsorily retired Ademola.
With the remittance of the suit it became inevitable that the defendants will face a fresh re- arraignment on 43 count charges bordering on corrupt enrichment.
The charges were filed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Lamido supporters who trooped to the court on Monday said re- arraignment would compound Lamido plight. He has made his intension known to run for presidency in 2019 general election.
Justice Quadri, had last year admitted Lamido to bail in the sum of N100m and two sureties in like sum while his sons and the other defendants were admitted to bail in the sum of N50m each and two sureties each in like sum.
Andrew Orolua , Abuja.