Emerging report reaching Page 36 on Wednesday morning, indicates that Officials of the Kuje Correctional Centre, in Abuja, on Tuesday, restricted access to Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South), who was remanded on Monday, by a Federal High Court, over his inability to produce the former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, whom he stood as a Surety for, in his ongoing criminal trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded, after the accused severally failed to appear for his trial, over an alleged N2 billion pension fund fraud.
It was gathered that some serving and former Lawmakers were at the Centre to see Senator Ndume on Tuesday; Journalists who were there, sighted two serving Senators.
Senator Ishaku Elisha Abbo (PDP, Adamawa), was heard telling Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC, Kebbi), at the vicinity of the Centre, that the Officials of the Correctional Centre required the approval of their Controller, to allow access to Senator Ndume.
Abbo, it was gathered, left without seeing Ndume.
It would be recalled, that Abbo nominated Ndume for the Senate Presidency, in June 2019, when the 9th National Assembly was being inaugurated.
After the interaction with Abbo, Senator Na’Allah was allowed into the facility. He was seen entering the office of the Officer in charge of the Centre, G. U. Ochepa, after he was subjected to all Covid-19 safety protocols.
Ochepa was heard telling the Lawmaker: “There is a temporary suspension of visit to the facility, because of Covid-19. It is not a punishment to the Lawmaker. Only Lawyers, and his wives, are supposed to be allowed to see him.”
After about 20 minutes in Ochepa’s office, the Lawmaker left the facility. Speaking, Na’Allah expressed shock over Ndume’s remand.
His words: “In all my years of practice as a Lawyer, this is the first time I am seeing this kind of situation. What I know is that if the Surety is unable to produce the suspect, the person will forfeit the bail bond.
“The bail bond is a very clear court document, and there is nowhere it suggests even by implication, that you can substitute a Surety for an accused person.”