The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, granted bail to 12 out of the 15 suspects who allegedly invaded the residence of the Supreme Court Judge, Mary Odili.
All 15 defendants had earlier pleaded not guilty to 18 charges, including forgery, criminal trespass, intimidation, extortion, among others, linked to their alleged invasion of Mrs Odili’s home in Abuja on October 29.
Ruling on the bail applications of 12 of the defendants, the trial judge, Nkeonye Maha, granted bail to them in the sum of N5 million each.
The prosecuting lawyer, Mathew Omosun, did not oppose the bail applications moved by the defendants’ lawyers.
As part conditions of the bail which they must fulfill to be released, the judge 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 verified certificate of occupancy.
Ms Maha 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 Supreme Court decision.
She said she, however, granted the bail applications on the grounds that they were unchallenged and based on the evidence before the court.
Ms Maha refused to grant bail to 11th (Mohammed Yahaya, an assistant superintendent of police), 14th (Abdullahi Adamu) and 15th (Abdullahi Usman) defendants on the grounds that no bail application was filed before the court on their behalf.
The judge, who ordered that the three defendants be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre till the next hearing fixed for January 17 and January 18, 2022, for trial commencement.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while counsel for the 11th defendant, Usman Jubrin, and lawyer to the 15th defendant (Abdullahi Usman), moved oral applications for bail, the 14th defendant did not have legal representation in court.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/436/2021, they were also alleged to have threatened Mrs Odili and members of her household wihile trying to execute an illegal search warrant.
Although 22 defendants are charged in the case, seven of them are still at large.
Some of the defendants arraigned iare Lawrence Adjodo (a.k.a. Ola Ojo) , Michael Diete-Spiff, Alex Onyekuru, Bayero Lawal (a.k.a EFCC director), Igwe Ernest, Aliyu Umar Ibrahim, Hajiya Maimuna Maishanu, Dr Ayodele Akindipe (a.k.a. Herbalist), Yusuf Adamu (a.k.a. Godson to Chief Peter Odili),
The rest are Bashir Musa, Mohammed Yahaya, an assistant superintendent of police, Stanley Nkwazema, Shehu Jibo, Abdullahi Adamu, and Abdullahi Usman.
The seven defendants at large include Ike Ezekwe, a lance corporal, Mike, Sani Bala, Godwin Lucas, Solomon Bagudu, Austin M. and Michael M.
NAN reports that the Police High Command had, on November 11, paraded 14 suspects over the invasion of the Abuja residence of Mrs Odili, describing them as impostors unknown to any of the nation’s security forces. (NAN)