Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, returned the case of the former Jigawa state Governor, Sule Lamido, to the court’s central registry for reassignment, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has reported.
Mr. Lamido, his sons, Aminu and Mustapha, alongside Aminu Abubakar, Batholomew Agoha, and three companies are facing a 43-count charge, bordering on corruption.
Mr. Quadri had admitted Mr. Lamido to bail in the sum of N100 million, while others were admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million each and two sureties each in like sum.
Mr. Lamido and his co-defendants were arraigned before Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court, Kano state, on July 9, 2015 for allegedly misappropriating funds belonging to Jigawa State Government.
The case was later transferred to the Federal High Court, Abuja, where Justice Gabriel Kolawole, a vacation judge, granted them bail, and adjourned the matter until September 22, 2015.
The matter was then assigned to Justice Adeniyi Ademola, but following his arrest and prosecution by the Department of State Service (DSS), the matter was transferred to Mr. Quadri.
Following the acquittal of Mr. Ademola, one of his counsel, Offiong Offiong (SAN) prayed the court to return the matter to Mr. Ademola on the grounds that 18 witnesses had already testified.
But the prosecuting counsel, Chike Okoroma, objected on the grounds that Mr. Joe Agi (SAN), the lead counsel to Mr. Lamido, was tried alongside Mr. Ademola for corruption related offences.
He said that it would be wrong for Mr. Agi to defend a case before Mr. Ademola because the public perception would be that the judge was bias, whichever way the verdict went.