Alleged Ese Oruru’s abductor, Yunusa Dahiru, granted bail
A Federal High Court sitting in Bayelsa has granted bail to Yunusa Dahiru, who was accused of allegedly abducting 14-year old Ese Oruru and forcefully marrying her.
Yunusa, who is standing trial on a five-count charge of abduction, kidnapping, unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor and sexual exploitation at the High Court was on granted bail for N 3 million.
The sureties, according to the judge must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court while one must be a civil servant of not less that level 12 while the second must be a title holder.
Ruling on the bail application trial judge Justice H. A. Nganjiwa stated that the suspect be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail conditions.
The judge further said that the sureties must provide tax clearance for the past three years.
Ngajiwa’s verdict was based on application deposed by the defendant and supported by a seven-paragraph affidavit in line with the rules of the court on whether or not Yunusa was entitled to bail.
The judge said the application averred that the grounds for bail were within the discretion of the court and in exercising that discretion the court must act judicially and judiciously.
He said that Yunusa’s lawyers in the application argued that the accused person is innocent until proven guilty adding that Yunusa had no records of criminal behavior and was not likely to jump bail.
The lawyers argued that since the offence was bailable and there were people who were ready to stand surety for the suspect, Yunusa was entitled to bail.
Ngajiwa also faulted a 10-paragraph application opposing the bail filed by the prosecution.
He said the argument of the prosecution that the accused person would not come for trial since he is not resident in the state was defective and would not stop the granting of bail.
He cited sections 158 and 162 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act and Section 36 (5) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 as amended, and insisted that the felonies committed by Yunusa were bailable.
He said: “In Section 36 (5), every person charged with a criminal offence is innocent until proven guilty. Investigations had been concluded and the accused person denied committing the offence. He was living in Yenagoa till August 2015. The offence is bailable and the court has the discretion to grant the bail”.
He added: “The offences charged are serious felonies but no matter how felonious, it will not stop the court from granting bail. The court will impose such conditions that will force the accused person to come for his trial.”
Dahiru was on March 8, 2016, charged with abduction, kidnapping, unlawful carnal knowledge and sexual exploitation by the Police but pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him when the now celebrated case came for first hearing on two weeks ago.
Counsel to Dahiru, Mr Kayode Olaoshebikan who thanked the court for granting bail to the accused pledged to work to meet the bail conditions.
Nganjiwa adjourned the case until April 17, 2016, for ruling on the application of the prosecution to obtain the evidence of Oruru in camera.
The Prosecuting Counsel Mr J.O. Anate who had opposed the bail application noted that the reasons advanced by the judge were credible.
Speaking after the court session, Counsel to Yunusa and Lead Counsel for his defense Mr Kayode Olaosebikan said the ruling on his client’s bail application was justified as the offence for which his client was tried was a bailable one.
Meanwhile, a human right activist who spoke after the proceedings, Ankio Briggs who is the founder of Agape Birthrights, said they were not comfortable with the way the state was handling the matter, saying they have doubts over the diligent prosecution of the case.
She said Delta, Bayelsa states and all the governors in the Niger Delta region had not shown commitment to the matter beyond their usual rhetorics.
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