Politics

BREAKING NEWS: Suspects To Remain In Prison As Court Dismisses Bail Application

The Federal High Court has dismissed the bail application filed by five persons suspected to be behind the arson attack on the Rivers State House of Assembly in October 2023...READ THE FULL STORY HERE▶

Three out of the five defendants — Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod — had asked Justice Bolaji Olajuwon to grant them bail on health grounds in the suit instituted by the Inspector-General of Police.

The defendants, arraigned on a 7-count terrorism-related charge, were accused of working with a lawmaker, Hon Edison Ehie, and others now at large, to wreak havoc on the state assembly.

The charges read in part, “That you, Chime Eguma Ezebalike, 37 years, businessman of Street 5, Radio Estate Ozuoba, Port Harcourt, Prince Lukman Oladele, 47 years of Okocha Street, Port Harcourt, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Hon Edison Ehie and others now at large on 29th of October 2023 at Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, while acting in concert conspired together to commit felony to wit: acts of terrorism by wilful destruction of public properties by invading, attacking, destroying and burning of the Rivers State House of Assembly and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 26 (1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022.

“That you Chime Eguma Ezebalike, 37 years, businessman of Street 5, Radio Estate Ozuoba, Port Harcourt, Prince Lukman Oladele, 47 years of Okocha Street, Port Harcourt, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Hon Edison Ehie and others now at large on 29th of October 2023 at Moscow Road in Port Harcourt, while acting in concert and armed with dynamite, iron rods, lighters and other offensive weapons willfully and maliciously invaded, attacked and set fire on the Rivers State House of Assembly Complex and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

When the charges were read to the defendants, they all pleaded not guilty.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Lukman Fagbemi, who represented Chime Eguma Ezebalike and Prince Lukman Oladele, asked the judge to grant his clients bail on liberal terms as well as strike out the charge.

“We urge your lordship to discountance the submission of the complainant who is trying to rub shoulders with the AGF,” counsel for the first and second defendants said.

The IGP’s counsel, Simon Lough, opposed the bail application, saying the 1999 Constitution clearly shows that the police have the powers to prosecute and initiate proceedings.

Ruling on the application, the judge held that the law enforcement and security agencies, contrary to the arguments of the defendants’ lawyer, are not only saddled with powers to investigate terrorism cases, but their officers can also prosecute such cases.

The judge sustained the charges, saying that the 1999 Constitution which is the source of every other law in the legal system, states that though the AGF has powers to prosecute any offences under any act passed by the national assembly, such powers are not exclusively vested in the AGF.

“The police can rightly initiate criminal proceedings albeit, terrorism, and I so hold,” Justice Mobolaji said.

Ruling on the bail application on Monday, Justice Mobolaji said the bail application is not grantable because there is no evidence showing that the Nigerian Correctional Service lacked the requisite medical facilities or experts to treat them.

The judge also held that the alleged terrorism for which they are charged is a capital offence that makes granting bail very unlikely.

Subsequently, the judge dismissed the application for bail while fixing February 8 for the commencement of trial.

The five defendants are to remain in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service, Kuje..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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