Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin
A Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, on Wednesday, granted an interim bail to Alhaji Yusuf Abdulwahab, the Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in the sum of N10 million.
Abdulwahab had been held in police custody in Abuja since June 2, 2018, after he responded to police invitation over his alleged link with suspects who carried out robbery attacks on commercial banks in Offa on April 5, 2018.
Hon. Justice M.O. Adewara granted the bail upon carefully considering the oral application for bail made on behalf of the governor’s aide by his counsel, Mr. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) and the response of the counsel for the Respondent, the Inspector General of Police.
It would be recalled that the Chief of Staff to Kwara State governor had initially filed a motion on notice before a Federal High Court in Abuja praying for an order granting him bail from police custody on the grounds that he had been detained for longer than 24 hours allowed by law, without charge.
But the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri, had rejected the bail application on the grounds that the subject matter of the case was outside the jurisdiction of his court.
He, therefore, ordered the transfer of the case to the High Court of Kwara State for hearing and determination.
The case was, thereafter, assigned to Justice Adewara, who issued a hearing notice to the respondent, and initially fixed hearing for Tuesday, 17 July, 2018.
However, according to Adelodun, no one represented the IG or filed any process on the said date of the hearing.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria then moved the court to grant his client’s bail application. The court then adjourned the case till Tuesday, 24 July, for ruling.
However, on Thursday, 19 July, the Officer in Charge Legal for the Police filed three processes, seeking for time to file a response, a notice of preliminary objection to the case and a counter affidavit to the application for Abdulwahab’s bail.
As a result, the ruling which was scheduled for Tuesday could, therefore, not be delivered.
Consequently, counsel to the Chief of Staff, made an oral application for his interim bail pending the determination of the main application.
Counsel to IGP did not object to the application and left it to the discretion of the court. The IGP’s counsel, however, sought to move a motion for extension of time, which was granted by the court.
Thereafter, Justice Adewara, in his ruling, granted the Chief of Staff bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge also ruled that the sureties must be persons of means and should swear to an affidavit of means and deposit to the court, their respective certificates of occupancy of house or land located anywhere in Kwara State.
He then adjourned the case to October 15, 2018 for hearing of the motion.