Gov Siminalayi Fubara
The Federal High Court in Abuja has turned down the bail requests of the loyalists of Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara who were charged with terrorism.
Their bail applications, filed and argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN, Lukman Fagbemi, was rejected and dismissed for lacking in merit.
The five defendants charged with terrorism are Chime Eguma Ezebalike, Prince Lukman Oladele, Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Osiga Donald and Ochueja Thankgod.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon, on Monday, refused them bail on the ground that they did not provide special circumstances to warrant their respective release from remand at the Kuje Prison in Abuja.
Delivering ruling on the bail applications, Olajuwon said the defendants, especially Chime Eguma Ezebalike and Prince Lukman Oladele, failed to give cogent and verifiable evidence to back up their request for bail.
The Judge held that in their affidavits in support of request for bail deposed to by one Mariam Alawiye, an office assistant, she claimed to have obtained information and exhibits on the defendants from some persons but refused to share the identities of the persons with the court.
To worsen the situation, the Judge said the deponent did also make any documents or exhibits available to the Court to support all her assertions in the affidavit evidence.
Justice Olajuwon explained that an affidavit evidence must supply names of those who volunteered information about defendants in a criminal charge as stipulated by Section 115 of the Evidence Act.
The Court held that rather than containing facts as required by law, the affidavit contained extraneous issues that are not relevant to persuade any court to grant bail.
To compound the problem, the Judge said that the defendants are charged with terrorism offences which are not ordinarily bailable.
While dismissing the bail request, Justice Olajuwon ordered them to remain in Kuje Prison from where they would be coming for their trial.
The Judge subsequently granted accelerated hearing and fixed February 8 for opening of trial by the Inspector General of Police IGP.