Alleged Terrorism: Court refuses to grant Lagos Eze Ndigbo bail

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Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court, sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, on Friday rejected the bail application of Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Frederick Nwajagu, who is being prosecuted over alleged terrorism.

The vacation judge held that the court was constrained to refuse the bail application based on the seriousness of the offence and the severity of its punishment.

Nwajagu is standing trial on a nine-count charge bordering on an attempt to commit acts of terrorism, financing terrorism, participating in terrorism, and meeting to support a proscribed entity.

The defendant had on July 25, 2023, applied for bail, citing his medical reports, adding that he was not a flight risk.

At the resumed hearing, of the case on Friday the court declined the defendant’s bail application and ordered for an accelerated hearing.

Justice Adesanya held, “Based on the seriousness of the offence, the severity of the punishment, and the proof of evidence before the court, the court is constrained to refuse the bail application.

“The application for an accelerated hearing is hereby granted”.

The judge, however, directed the correctional facility officials to make arrangements for the defendant to visit a government hospital for his treatment.

She adjourned the hearing until October 3, 2023.

On the last adjourned date, counsel to the defendant, Mr. E. C. Obiagu (SAN), had prayed the court to grant bail to the defendant on grounds of his medical condition.

He also told the court that the defendant was a widower who had six children who he would not abandon, therefore would not jump bail.

Obiagu claimed that the defendant does not possess an international passport, therefore, was not a flight risk.

The defence counsel also said that the defendant was granted bail at the lower court but was not able to perfect the bail due to its stringent condition.

In his response the Lagos state, Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions, Jonathan Ogunsanya, however, urged the court to refuse the defendant’s bail.

He then begged the court to order an accelerated hearing.

Ogunsanya said among other things that the circumstances under which the defendant was granted bail at the lower court was different from the information filed against him at the high court.

He contended that the charge brought against the defendant by the police are materially different from the charge brought against the defendant by the attorney general.

The Lagos state Government had in a suit No: LD/21505C/2023, alleged that the defendant’s acts contravened Section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The state noted that the offences also contravened Sections 12(a) (c), 18, 21, and 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022.

Nwajagu was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services over an alleged threat to invite members of the Indigenous People of Biafra to Lagos to secure properties of Igbo people in the state.

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