From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
ABDUCTOR of 14 year-old Ese Oruru to Kano, Yunusa Dahiru, also known as Yellow, was yesterday, granted N3 million bail with stringent conditions.
Yunusa was arraigned on a five-count charge bordering on abduction, illicit affair and rape of 14 year-old Ese Oruru.
Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa granted Yunusa bail of N3 million and two sureties of like sum who must present three years tax-clearance receipts to be verified by the Court Registrar.
The two sureties who must be within the jurisdiction of the court must be a title holder and a civil servant of grade 12 and above.
Counsel to Yunusa, Kayode Olaosebikan in his written address had brought the application for bail in pursuant of sections 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He argued that it is a settled principle of criminal jurisprudence that granting bail is at the discretion of the court which shall exercise such powers judicially and judiciously.
He assured that the accused in line with the affidavit deposed to support the bail application would be present to stand trial.
The prosecution counsel, James Anata who, in a 10 paragraph, counter affidavit stated that it was difficult to arrest the defendant and bring him to this court because he was protected by the Islamic Council, said granting him bail would enable him to escape and abscond from trial.
According to him, since the objective of bail is to enable the accused come back and stand trial, it has been proven by previous experience that the accused person will never come back for trial.
He said aside jumping bail; the accused may tamper with the prosecution witnesses especially the prime witness who could be influenced by the defendant not to testify.
In his ruling which lasted 20 minutes, Justice Nganjiwa relying on sections 158 and 162 of the Administration of Criminal Justice noted that he has taken into consideration the argument of the two counsel and without hesitation, wants to grant the accused bail in line with the powers of the court.
“In consideration of the application, what is taken into consideration is that the offence is bailable and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I am aware that the offence he is accused of is serious but that does not foreclose bail.That the accused might jump bail, it is incumbent on the court to impose conditions that would make the accused appear for trial. I, hereby, grant bail with N3 million and two sureties of like sum residing the jurisdiction of the Court. One must be a title holder while the second surety must be a civil servant not less than grade 12. The accused must not travel out of the country without the knowledge of the Court. He is also to deposit his international passport in the Court. The Court registrar must verify the claims of the sureties. The defence counsel must also sign an undertaking on the appearance of the accused for trial”
Justice Nganjiwa adjourned the case to April 19 for hearing on the application of the Prosecution Counsel to hear Ese Oruru’s evidence in camera.
While Anata commended the Judge for the insightful judgment, Olaosebikan expressed happiness with the decision to grant Yunusa bail.
Parents of Ese, Mr Charles and Mrs Rose Oruru, who were in Court with their eldest daughter, Patricia Oruru disappointed with the decision to grant Yunusa bail left the Court immediately Justice Nganjiwa gave his verdict.
Annkio Briggs who was also in Court in solidarity with the Orurus, expressed disappointment with the ruling and pass a vote of no confidence on the Police prosecutors handling the case.
She called on the leadership of the Nigeria Police to send their best hands from Abuja to Yenagoa, to ensure Ese gets justice.