A Federal High Court, presiding in Abuja, has granted bail to remaining defendants who allegedly invaded the residence of the Supreme Court judge, Justice Mary Odili.
The court had on December 15, 2021, refused to grant bail to an assistant superintendent of police, Mohammed Yahaya; Abdullahi Adamu; and Abdullahi Usman, on the grounds that no bail application was filed before the court on their behalf.
The judge had ordered that the three defendants be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre till the next hearing fixed for trial commencement.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Nkeonye Maha admitted them to a five million naira bail each, following an application separately filed by their counsel not opposed to by lawyer to the police, Mathew Omosun.
Justice Maha ordered that the defendants must produce two sureties each.
The judge also directed that the two sureties for each of the defendants must be responsible citizens, and one of them must possess a landed property in Abuja with a verified certificate of occupancy.
The judge also ruled that the second surety must be gainfully employed in Abuja, having paid his or her tax dues for three years. She said the documents of the landed property should be submitted to the registry of the court.
The judge, who ordered that the defendants must submit their passports to the registry, directed that all the defendants be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre pending the perfection of their bail terms.
The judge noted that though the prosecution did not oppose the applications, this did not preclude the court from looking at the merit of the matter based on the Supreme Court decision.
She said the court also had the discretion to grant the bail.
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All fifteen defendants had earlier pleaded not guilty to eighteen charges, including forgery, criminal trespass, intimidation, extortion, among others, linked to their alleged invasion of Odili’s home in Abuja on October 29, 2021.
Federal Government, through the Nigerian Police, had produced the defendants before the court for arraignment on an 18-count charge bordering on forgery, criminal trespass, intimidation, extortion, among others, contrary to the sections of the law.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/436/2021, they were also alleged to have threatened Mrs Odili and members of her household while trying to execute an illegal search warrant.
Although 22 defendants are charged in the case, seven of them were still at large.