Court grants Yunusa, Ese’s abductor, N3 million bail



Human rights activist kicks

A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday granted bail in the sum of N3 million with two sureties in like sum to Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, who allegedly abducted Ese Oruru, a 14-year-old girl from the state.

Ruling on the bail application, the 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.

Justice Nganjiwa, whose 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, 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 behaviour 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.

Nganjiwa, who faulted a 10-paragraph application opposing the bail filed by the prosecution, insisted that the felonies committed by Yunusa were bailable.

He said: “In Section 36 (5), every person charged with the 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 discretion to grant the bail.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Justice Nganjiwa has adjourned the case till April 17, 2016 for ruling on the application by the prosecution to obtain the evidence of Oruru in camera.

Counsel to Dahiru, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, who thanked the court for granting bail to the accused, pledged to work to meet the bail conditions.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. J.O. Anate, who had opposed the bail application, noted that the reasons advanced by the judge were credible.

In another development, 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 and 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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