A Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris on Thursday, May 11th, 2017 granted bail to a blogger, Mr. Tega Oghenedoro who is popularly known as Fejiro Oliver and a former staff of Sterling Bank Plc turned whistle-blower, Mr. Dennis Ukpabi.
The duo were arrested by the Homicide Section of the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos after they exposed a fraud that took place in Sterling Bank Plc and arraigned on April 28, 2017 by the Nigeria Police Force on a five-count charges bordering on alleged cyber stalking following a petition to the police by some staff of Sterling Bank alleging malicious publication and threat to life and remanded in Ikoyi prison.
Human rights lawyer and counsel for the defendants, Inibehe Effiong asked the court to admit his clients to bail as the offense for which they are charged are bailable. Effiong contended that bail was a constitutional right and that the law requires the court to exercise its discretion judicially and judiciously.
Opposing the bail application, the prosecution counsel who is also a Superintendent of Police, Mr. Oloruntoba Jayeola, asked the court to deny the defendants bail and grant an accelerated hearing of the case. He informed the court that the defendants had jumped the administrative bail granted to them by the police and will likely jump bail if the application was granted.
However, in his reply, the defense counsel, Inibehe Effiong said the averment in the counter affidavit deposed to by the Investigating Police Officer, DSP Kenneth Ogbeifun that the defendants will jump bail was bereft of particulars and undeserving of the court’s attention. He insisted that the affidavit in support of the application shows that his clients voluntarily submitted themselves to the police on the 27th of April before they were arraigned the following day and that at no time did they jump bail.
In his ruling, the trial judge Justice Mohammed Idris held that from the facts before him, there was nothing to justify refusing the defendants bail. He, therefore, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of 2 million each with two sureties in like some. Each of the defendants is to produce two sureties who must have landed properties. The defendants are to also submit their international passports to the court.
The case has been adjourned to June 12, 2017, for hearing.