Fubara’s men remain in prison!


*As Court dismisses bail request, orders that they should remain in prison custody

*Says they failed to give cogent, verifiable evidence to back up request for bail

*That they did not also make any documents or exhibits to support affidavit evidence

*They are charged with terrorism offences by Inspector General of Police

By Kenneth Atavti

The five loyalists of Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State charged with terrorism offences by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) have lost their battle for bail at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Their bail applications, filed and argued by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Lukman Fagbemi, was rejected and dismissed for lack of 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 also did not make any documents or exhibits available to the Court to support all her assertions in the affidavit evidence.

Justice Olajuwon explained that 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.

The Court disagreed with assertions by the deponent that the defendants would not jump bail, commit any other offence or interfere with witness and investigation adding that claims were vague and hearsay because the deponent did not establish or produce any evidence.

To compound the problem, the Judge said that the defendants are charged with terrorism offences which are not ordinarily bailable.

In the application of Kenneth Goodluck Kpasa, Justice Olajuwon said that the claim of his 10 years of chronic hypertension and high blood pressure was not supported with any medical documents.

Besides, the Judge held that the counter claim by the IGP that the sickness can be managed by medical personnel of the prison was not disputed

While dismissing the bail request, Justice Olajuwon ordered them to remain in Kuje Prison from where they would be coming for their trial.