Edo Assembly Invasion: Court Grants Suspects Bail

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A Benin High Court  on Monday granted bail to seven suspects, who are facing trial for allegedly invading the Edo House of Assembly complex on August 6, 2020.

The suspects are; Wilfred Ogbewe,52, Igbinobono Collins,26, Salami Osayomore,25, Odion Osayande,23, Morgan Uwanboe,47, Ifeoluwa Oladele,36, and Agbonrere Festus,25 .

The presiding Judge, Justice Efe Ikponmwoba, granted the suspects to bail  in the sum of N500,000  with  a surety each in like sum.

Ikponmwoba said the surety must be gainfully employed and resides within the Court’s jurisdiction.

It will be recalled that the suspects allegedly invaded the state House of Assembly premises in Benin on the said date, in a manner that caused  breach of peace.

Meanwhile, judgment in their fundamental human rights action was adjourned to Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Counsel to the Applicants,  Matthias Obayuwana, who filed a 24 paragraphs affidavit in support of his motion, submitted that the motion was aimed at enforcing the fundamental rights to liberty and personal dignity, freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of the Applicants by the police authorities.

He submitted that the Applicants were arrested while performing their lawful duties as Members of the state Vigilante group who were at the Assembly complex at the instance of State Government to protect the place from being vandalized by hoodlums on that fateful day.

Obayuwana also told the court that the Applicants were arrested by a team of Policemen led by one Supol Dahiru Ibrahim and taken to Force Headquarters Abuja where they were tortured and detained under unfavourable condition without food.

He emphasized that the rights to personal dignity is not such that can be negotiated, waived, neglected or overlooked.

Citing sections of the law to drive home his points, the Applicants’ counsel told the court that the Respondents did not present any warrant of arrest, petition or Complaint by anyone against the Applicants on the basis of which they acted in the early hours of that day, an exercise that was ill-motivated and which smacks of partisanship in the  electoral  politics of Edo State.

He urged the court to accordingly, restrain the Respondents, their agents, servants and privies  from further interference with the fundamental human rights to liberty of the Applicants in the discharge of their duties as Vigilante employed by the Edo State Government for the protection of Government properties.

Obayuwana also prayed the court amongst other reliefs to direct the Respondents jointly and severally to apologise to the Applicants in writing and publish same in at least one national daily for the unwarranted infringement of their fundamental rights to liberty pursuant to section 35(6) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Objecting the application, counsel to the Police, Mr
Akomen Adaghe, urged the court to rule against the Applicants, saying they were arrested with guns, an offence punishable by law.

Joined as Respondents in the case are; the Inspector-General of Police, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, zone 5, the Edo  Commissioner of Police and Supol Dahiru Ibrahim.

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