IHC approves Abdul Majeed Ghani’s bail in five NAB cases


ISLAMABAD, FEB 26 (DNA) : The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday approved the bail of Abdul Ghani Majeed on medical grounds in five corruption cases filed against him.

The court approved the bail and asked Ghani to submit bonds worth 100 million in the five references he is facing and disposed of National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea challenging the bail.

In its order, the court said that Ghani was being granted bail solely on medical grounds. “If the accused goes anywhere else apart from medical treatment then NAB can submit an application seeking the ending of the bail,” it added.

In its report, the jail authorities told the court that the accused was being given every possible treatment while he was in custody. They added that Ghani’s tests were also sent to Shaukat Khanum Hospital. However, his lawyer said that his client would like his treatment to be done at Aga Khan Hospital.

The five cases for which Ghani was granted bail are the Roshan Sindh Programme, Park Lane, Thatta Water Supply, Sugarcane Subsidy and Amenity Plots Illegal Allotment cases

Earlier this month, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) also acceptedAbdul Ghani Majeed’s bail plea in the fake bank accounts case. He is one of the prime accused in the case along with his father, Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed, former president Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur.

Majeed’s bail plea was accepted by the high court on medical grounds. The accused will have to deposit Rs100 million bonds, ruled the two-member bench comprising Justice Mian Gul Hassan Aurangzeb and Justice Fayyaz Ahmed Jandran.

The court ruled that Majeed will undergo treatment at an Islamabad hospital and will appear before the IHC whenever he is summoned.

What is the fake bank accounts case all about?

In October 2015, the anti-corruption wing of the Federal Investigation Agency in Karachi received a tip-off of suspicious intra-bank transactions from the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and the United Bank Limited. The profiles of the account holders did not match their earnings/income. FIA authorities suspected that these accounts were being run by the Zardari Group and Omni Group, amongst others

The case dragged on until June 2018, when the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the fake accounts and directed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.

The investigation team concluded that 32 fake bank accounts were being operated by 11 fake entities to launder money from “kickbacks, land grabbing and large scale misappropriation of public funds.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lowai, the then-president Summit Bank, Nasser Abdullah Lootah, chairman Summit Bank, Chairman Omni Group Anver Majid and his son are the prime suspects in the case.

The JIT also concluded from the investigation that the Omni Group had immensely benefited from the transactions. The investigation team stated that the group had a “startling and unprecedented (abnormal) growth 2009 onwards,” interestingly, after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) took power.

From 2008 to 2013, the company grew at a whopping 2,500% and added a total of 83 companies under its umbrella. The growth percentage fell to 142% after 2013 when the PPP lost the central government.