Court discharges Lagos unionists after 120 days in detention
From Juliet Odey, Abuja
Eight leaders of Araromi/Ile-Epo Oke-Odo Market, In Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos, who have been in prison custody since April 13, 2018, have been released by a Lagos Federal High Court on Thursday.
The eight market leaders are: Livinus Njoku, 54, Lawal Dan Galadima, 54, Tafeek Olanikami, 83, Musa Mohammed, 56, Nadir Adamu Ango, 42, Falano Williams, 74, Musiliu Anobi, 30, and Obi Ndubisi.
All the market leaders were arrested and remanded in prison custody, since April 13, by the police headquarters Abuja, for allegedly fighting and stopping the redevelopment and reconstruction of the Araromi/Ile-Epo-oba market.
The market leaders were granted bail after the judge granted their prayers to that effect. The market leaders were arraigned before the court on a three-count charge.
Following their pleas of innocence to the charges, their lawyers, M. O. Atanda, Dele Falana, and Felix Olatunji, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.
The defence counsels also told the court that the accused were about to be granted bail from prison custody when the police filed another charge before Justice Ayotunde Faji of the Federal High Court, Lagos, and that since the filing of the charge, the police had not appeared in court to arraign the defendants.
Responding, the prosecutor, Assistant Commissioner of Police Simon Lough urged the court to discountenance the defendants’ bail applications, arguing their lawyers had not presented before the court good reasons why the applications should be granted bail.
Justice Obiozor said a High Court had earlier ordered that all the defendants be released, which was not challenged by the prosecution.
Consequently, he admitted each of the defendants to bail in the sum of N10 million, with one surety each, clarifying that one surety can, however, stand for all the defendants.
Following the decision of the court, the prosecutor urged the court to expunge all the murder related charges against all the defendants.