Aliyu Ahman Pategi, a member of the Federal House of Representatives and husband of Mrs Jumoke Akinjide, a former minister in Nigeria who ‘jumped bail’ has been released by the the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) after his wife (Jumoke) submitted herself at the Lagos office of the Commission. He had earlier stood surety for her.
A Lagos state magistrate court at Igbosere, on Tuesday, struck out the lawsuit against Mr. Pategi upon a joint request of both the counsel for the Commission, Rotimi Oyedepo, and the defendant’s lawyer, Olusegun Williams, to withdraw the case.
Magistrate Afolashade Boloku consequently struck out the suit and ordered the anti-graft agency to release Mr. Pategi who has been in custody since Friday, June 16, 2017.
Mr. Pategi who is believed to be Mrs. Akinjide’s husband stood surety and entered a bail bond of N650million for the former Minister of State who was detained in 2016 for alleged money laundering. She had continuously jumped the administrative bail granted her by the anti-graft agency.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Williams informed that his client had reached out to the prosecution to negotiate the possibility of settling out of court. He then urged the court to step down the matter for him to consult with his client and initiate negotiation with the prosecution.
“It is correct that the business of the day is for bail and possibility of a preliminary objection” Mr. Williams said but added; “I am obliged to inform the court that at the tail end of your lordship coming to sit, we have reached out to negotiate and we are negotiating terms for an amiable terms”
The judge granted the request to step the matter down.
However, the matter was eventually struck out with the information that Mrs. Akinjide had turned herself in.
Rotimi told the court; “I confirm from leader of operation EFCC zonal office in Lagos that Mrs Jumoke Akinjide has turned herself in the custody of EFCC. Since it was the inability of the 3rd respondent to produce her that triggered the application, we will therefore in the interest of justice apply for the suit to strike out in view of the success of the 2nd defendant to produce the 1st defendant”.
Sources from the EFCC office in Ikoyi informed that the former minister would be held in their custody until June 22 when she would be arraigned in court for money laundering.
The anti-graft agency had attempted to arraign Mrs. Akinjide at the Federal High Court in Ibadan but the former minister didn’t show up for arraignment.
The Commission filed a 24-count charge against her before Justice Ayo Emmanuel in Suit No. FHC/IB/26C/2017.
However, Mrs. Akinjide refused to turn up in court after more than three proceedings despite the service of the charges on her, a situation that prompted the court to threaten to dismiss the charges if the prosecution failed to produce her at the next adjourned date.