The Federal High Court, sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday, ordered the further detention of Yunusa Dahiru, alias Yellow, in Okaka Prisons, for the alleged abduction of 14-year-old Ese Oruru, following discrepancies in his bail application.
Justice H.A Ngajiwa ruled that Yunusa remain in prison custody pending the determination of an application seeking his bail.
Also, at the resumed hearing, the state, through the police, sought the approval of the court to hear Oruru’s oral evidence in camera.
Ngajiwa made the remand order following the inability of the suspect’s five-man team of lawyers, led by Kayode Olaosebikan and the prosecution three-man team, headed by Kenneth Dika, to present evidence of judicial precedent in their arguments.
The judge concluded that the bail application suffered a setback because the lawyers could not present all authorities they mentioned as directed by the court.
Dahiru is facing a five-count of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge of 14-year-old Oruru.
He was brought to court at 10 am, escorted by prison officials.
The Kano-born Dahiru looked pensive and lean in his green traditional Hausa attire.
Following his stalled case, Yunusa was ordered by the judge to step out of the dock.
The prosecution, however, brought a prayer before the court asking it to allow Oruru to be quizzed and his evidence taken in camera because of her age.
The prayer was opposed by Yunusa’s lawyers, who insisted that examinations and cross examinations must be done in open court.
The seven-paragraph affidavit asking for Yunusa’s bail was deposed to by Oladeji Maxwell of Olaosebikan and Co., while the prosecution affidavit rejecting the application was deposed to by Debo Waheed.
The prosecution asked the court to decline the bail request by Yunusa’s legal team, which consisted of Audu Bulama, Oche Alex, Yahaya Sheriff and Huwaila Mohammed.
In its argument opposing the application, the prosecution noted that it was difficult to bring Yunusa from the Muslim Council in Kano where he was first arrested.
He argued that if the accused was granted bail, it would literally put an end to the case.
‘’It took the police since August till now to get the suspect arrested. If he’s granted bail, he will not come back to this court because he is not even resident in this jurisdiction’’, the prosecution said.
But Yunusa’s legal team, however, argued that since it was a ‘bailable’ offence, there was nothing stopping the judge from granting the prayer of the accused.
Olaosebikan called on the judge to discountenance the prosecution’s resistance, arguing that the statement was an indictment on the police.
He said: ‘’ It is preposterous that a member of the police force would say that they cannot retrieve Yunusa from the Muslim Council in Kano, when members of that body are civilians. The court should not rely on that argument.
But Ngajiwa reserved ruling on the bail application and ordered that Yunusa be sent back to prison.
“Ruling is reserved for the March 21 and suspect is to be remanded in prison custody’’, he said.
Speaking outside the court, the defence lawyers insisted that the case was that of a ‘Romeo and Juliet’, adding that the argument that the girl should be shielded was untenable.
‘’Their reason is that they don’t want publicity for the girl, but our position is that the matter is in the public domain. The prosecution created a media nightmare for the girl. They dug the pit, let them wallow in it.
‘’ Our contention is that what they are trying to prevent has occurred. The trial started in the media. So they can’t stop what they started’’, Olaosebikan said.
During the last session, Yunusa, who was brought in handcuffs, admitted impregnating the teenage girl, but pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the five-count.
The police accused Yunusa of conspiring with Dankano Mohammed and Mallam AlHassan to ‘abduct, coerce, deceive and sexually assault’ the Delta-born Miss Ese Oruru.
The police alleged that the suspect committed an offence punishable under Section 27(a) of the Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.
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