Court Grants 8 Market Leaders Bail After 120 Days In Detention

Court Grants 8 Market Leaders Bail After 120 Days In Detention
The eight market leaders are: Livinus Njoku, 54, Lawal Dan Galadima, 54, Tafeek Olanikami, 83, Musa Mohammed, 56, Nadir Adamu Ango, 42, Falano Williams, 74, Musiliu Anobi, 30, and Obi Ndubisi.
All the market leaders were arrested and remanded in prison custody, since April 13, by the police headquarters Abuja, for allegedly opposing and stopping the redevelopment and reconstruction of the Araromi/Ile-Epo-oba market, in Alimosho Local government of the state.
Justice (Processor) Chuka Obiozor, who presided over the court, granted all the market leaders to bail, after their pleas were taken on three count charge bordering on willful destruction of government properties, threatened to kill Adeyanju and Haruna Ismail, Directors of Jenrich Nigeria Limited who were awarded contract by Alimosho-LGA to reconstruct the motor park, in the market, and attacked and mercilessly beat Taofeek Yusuf and Isa Owonikoko.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Simon Lough, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), are contrary to and punishable under Sections 1 (2) and 15(1)(b) of Terrorism (prevention) Amendment Act 2013.

The market leaders have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 
Following their pleas on innocence to the charge, their lawyers, M. O. Atanda, Dele Falana, and Felix Olatunji, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.
 
At and a particularly told the court that they had earlier obtained an order from Justice Okiki-Olu Igile, of a Lagos High Court, in a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by his clients against the police, wherein the judge ordered that all the market leaders be released forthwith.
 
Atanda also told the court that when they were about securing the release of the market leaders from the prison custody, that the police filed another charge before Justice Ayotunde Faji of Federal High Court, Lagos, and that since the filing of the charge, the police have not appear in court to arraign the defendants.
 
He therefore urged the court to grant the bail applications of his client. Adding that he was ready to stand as surety for all the defendants, if the court will release them to him.
Responding, the prosecutor, ACP Lough, while urging the court to discountenance the defendants’ bail applications, said their lawyers have not present before the court a good reason while the applications should be granted.
The prosecutor also told the court that when the police ready to arraign the defendants, one of their lawyers, objected to their plea been taken on the ground that they were not prepared.
But Justice Obiozor, after perused all the applications filed by both parties, ruled that he is satisfied with the submissions of the defendants’ lawyer, especially, seeing that an High Court, had earlier ordered that all the defendants should be released, the ordered he said was not challenged by the prosecution.
Consequently, Justice Obiozor admitted each of the defendants to bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety each. The judge also ordered that one surety can stand for all the defendants.
The surety, according to the judge, must show evidence of three years tax payment, two current photo passports, and means of livelihood, all these the judge ordered to be verified by the Court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR).
The judge also ordered that the defendants can be released to their lawyers upon filing of an undertaken before the court, pending the fulfilment of the bail terms within seven days.

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