Nigerians have taken to social media to hail Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja for granting the bail application brought before it by the 12 detained aides of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho.
The PUNCH reports that Justice Egwuatu on Wednesday granted the bail of the 12 applicants in the sum of N15m after the 12 persons spent five weeks in the custody of the Department of State Services.
Recall that the detained persons were arrested on July 1, 2021, when the secret police raided the Ibadan residence of Igboho around 1am.
The secret police had also said it killed two other associates of the activist in a gun duel and subsequently declared Igboho wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms to destabilise Nigeria under the pretext of Yoruba Nation but the activist, who is now in a Beninese detention facility, had denied the allegation.
Igboho’s aides had approached the court through their lawyers led by Pelumi Olajengbesi to seek their release from DSS custody.
After many adjournments by the court as well as arguments and counter-arguments from the applicants’ lawyers and the DSS’ lawyer, I. Awo, the judge granted bail to all the applicants.
Speaking with The PUNCH after the judgment of the court, Olajengbesi commended the decision of the judge. “We commend the industry and the judgement of the court in restoring the liberty of our clients,” he said.
“There are two categories of the bail conditions: for the first eight, the condition is to get two sureties valued at N5m while the bail condition for the second four – the DSS opposed bail for four of them, so, the bail condition for the four is N10m with two sureties.
“That of the first eight is ordinary sureties who have valid means of identification and known addresses but that of the four, one of them must be a civil servant not less than Level 12 who is resident in Abuja,” Olajengbesi explained.
The lawyer, who said the team was “working on meeting the bail conditions”, expressed dissatisfaction over the decision of the court not to grant the prayer to move his clients from DSS custody to a correctional centre in Abuja.
“When the court granted the bail, we want them to be remanded in a correctional centre here in Abuja because the complaint from the applicants is that DSS officials maltreat and beat them every day,” he stated.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have taken to Facebook to comment on the development.
Tochi Praise wrote, “Justice Egwuatu as his name implies (fears no one). The first seating the DSS brought only eight among 12 but Justice Egwuatu told Igboho’s lawyer to compile the full names of those arrested by DSS within two days. I know he told him that so that he can grant them bail all at once.”
“Good news, victory at last!” Asuni Olusegun exclaimed.
“Good they were granted bail. But sincerely the bail conditions matter a lot, what if they are unable to meet the bail conditions, they (will) remain in custody till the bail conditions are fulfilled?” Osamuyi Osagieoduwa asked.
However, Afam Udeh stated, “Nothing to rejoice about their release, what of the people killed unjustly at Sunday Igboho’s house? Security agencies and the Buhari administration should be held accountable for unwarranted killings going on in the country.”