The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Monday granted Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, bail.
Yunusa is being tried in the court for alleged abduction and forcefully marrying a 14-year-old Ese Oruru from Bayelsa State.
Yunusa, who hails from Kano State, is standing trial on five counts of abduction, illicit sex and unlawful carnal knowledge of Ese.
The court, presided over by Justice H.A. Ngajiwa, resumed in Yenagoa to rule on a bail application filed by Yunusa’s five-man team of lawyers, led by Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan.
The judge ruled that the offences committed by Yunusa were bailable.
He then asked the suspect to provide N3m, two sureties who are resident within the court’s jurisdiction and a written undertaking that he would not jump bail.
As part of the conditions for the bail, one of the sureties must be a renowned title holder and a public servant on Grade Level 12 who must provide evidence of first appointment and promotion letters.
The judge further directed that the sureties must provide their tax clearance certificates.
Ngajiwa’s verdict was based on an application deposed to 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.
The judge stated that Yunusa’s lawyers in the application argued that the suspect was innocent until proved guilty, noting 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.
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 the 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.
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