From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, has fixed Thursday, January 25, to hear the bail application filed by 38 protesters arrested for alleged public disturbances in Lafia.
Thirty- eight (38) suspects were arrested recently for allegedly protesting the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Nasarawa State governorship election.
Supreme Court had in its judgment affirmed Governor Abdullahi Sule as the lawful winner of the March 18, 2023 Governorship Election in Nasarawa State, a development which triggered up protests by some aggrieved persons in the State.
The suspects were charged before the Chief Magistrate Court 3, Lafia on the orders of the State Commissioner of Police, Umaru Shehu Nadada but the Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Abdullahi Lanze fixed ruling on the matter for Monday 22 January, 2024.
According to the Police, protesters, comprising five men and 33 women, contravened the peace accord signed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, before the Supreme Court judgment.
When the matter came up Monday for hearing, the Magistrate, Mohammed Abdullahi-Lanze fixed January 25 for hearing after listening to arguments on both sides for the bail application.
He said that the accused persons would remain at the Lafia Custodial Centre until the adjourned date.
The Magistrate also ordered the Commissioner of Police to produce the defendants in court on the said date.
Earlier, Mr Ayiwulu Baba-Ayiwulu, Counsel to the defendants, said he had filed the bail application since Friday, Jan19, and urged the court to grant his request.
On his part, Danjuma Allu, Prosecuting Counsel representing the Commissioner of Police, argued that the prosecution has seven days to reply to the application based on provisions of the law.
He, therefore, said that the court should give them more time to reply since it was still within the time that the law provides.
Speaking in an interview to journalists a Coordinator of a civil society group, Community Initiative for Character Modeling and Entrepreneurship Development, Kefas Tiga described the matter as disheartening and wondered why the suspects who are breastfeeding mothers were denied bail despite an application by legal counsel for the court to grant them bail.
“These people who were arrested not all of them are part of the protests that started from 19 March, 2023 and the protests have been peaceful”, he said .
He therefore called on other civil society advocate the fundamental human rights of some individuals in the society.