By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
A dismissed Police Sergeant, Mr. Musa Musa, was yesterday arraigned before Wuse Zone 2, Magistrate’s Court for his alleged involvement in the looting of the Abuja residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan. When the First Information Report (FIR), the Federal Capital Territory Police Command entered against him was read to him, he pleaded not guilty. In the FIR report, police alleged that Musa, 23, “broke into the residence of former President Ebele Jonathan, situated at Gwarimpa within the jurisdiction of this honourable court and stole
(1) All the internal fi ttings (2) Furniture (3) Cloth (4) Electrical fi ttings (5) Water Heaters (6) Kitchen shelf (7) Wardrobes (8) Chandelier (9) Refrigerators (10) Door, and went further to steal canopies.” Th e prosecution told the court that items Musa allegedly stole from Jonathan’s house was valued at N30million. Shortly after the defendant took his plea, Police lawyer, Stanley Nwodo, applied that he should be remanded in prison custody. Nwodo urged the court to deny defendant bail, insisting that the case against him involved national security. “Th is is a case of national interest, which involves national security. Granting him bail will foil the trial of this case and contravene section 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
” Opposing the application, Musa’s lawyer, Mr. E. O. Egbule, who relied on provisions of Section 36(5), 158, 162 of the ACJA submitted that the defendant was charged with bailable off ences. “We submit that the presumption of innocence enshrined under section 36(5) of the constitution is heavily in favour of the defendant.” After listening to both parties, Chief Magistrate Mabel SheguBello, held that the prosecution failed to convince the court that the case involved national security.
Placing reliance on allegations levelled against the defendant in the FIR, Magistrate Shegu-Bello said the court was minded to conduct the trial the same way it would attend to a theft case concerning any other citizen. Consequently, the defendant was granted bail in the sum of N7million with one surety in like sum. Th e case was subsequently adjourned till October 3 for trial.