From Esther Akaa, Lafia
A Magistrate Court 3 sitting in Lafia has granted bail to the 38 protesters arrested by the Police for alleged public disturbances.
Thirty- eight (38) suspects were arrested recently for allegedly protesting the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Nasarawa State governorship election.
The 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 Police had earlier said that the protesters comprising eight men and 30 women, had contravened the peace accord signed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
When the matter came up Thursday for hearing, the Magistrate, Mohammed Abdullahi-Lanze granted the bail after the hearing on the bail application filed by counsels to the defendants.
The Magistrate however, directed that the defendants must get a surety not below the position of a Director with the State or Federal Government each staying within the jurisdiction of the court.
He also said that each surety must submit his or her identity card, N2 million, letter of first appointment and statement of account to the court.
He therefore, adjourned the case to February 27, 2024 for hearing and directed that all the defendants must be at the court in the next adjourned date.
Earlier, Barr. Labaran Magaji, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney -General (AG) who took over as the prosecuting Counsel, withdrew all the three counter applications.
The counter application had been filed by the police who was prosecuting the matter before it was taken over by the Attorney-General of the state.
The AG said that the offences committed by the defendants were bailable by the provision of the laws and as such, the state had withdrawn the counter earlier filed to save the time of the court.
He however, told the court that all the defendants be made to attend subsequent proceedings of the court unfailingly.
On his part, Barr. Ayiwulu Baba-Ayiwulu, Counsel to the defendants appealed that the bail condition be simplify to enable them meet the condition.
He appealed that Barr. Esson Mairiga, House of Assembly Member representing Lafia North at the Nasarawa State Assembly had offered to stand as surety to all the defendants.
The court therefore asked the defending counsel to apply formally and assured that the appeal would be consider in the interest of justice.