An Igbo businessman, Onyebuchi Okafor and a Hausa lady, Mansura Shehu, have been remanded in a correctional facility on the orders of a Magistrate court in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi state for committing adultery which led to pregnancy, contrary to Section 369 of the penal code.
The two were charged by the police before Magistrate Samaila Kakale Mungadi who, at the preliminary hearing, ordered the two accused persons to be remanded at the correctional service Centre in Birnin Kebbi until 5th July for further hearing.
The prosecution counsel, Mr Jibril Abba, had opposed a bail application for Okafor, who he alleged was once convicted by a High Court and argued that bail for him will affect investigations into the matter. Counsel to the accused, Chief Magnus Ihejirika had asked for bail assuring the court that the accused will not jump bail.
It would be recalled that a similar case involving a young man from Kano, Yunusa Yellow, based in Akwa Ibom state was accused of eloping with a local girl to Kano sometime ago. The case took an ethnic and religious dimension leading to tension in the country. Yellow is currently serving a jail term for his discretion.
The case in Kebbi involving Onyebuchi Okafor and Mansura, both of whom are currently in detention, also sparked some ethnic colouring with mostly Igbo residents in Kebbi insisting on bail for Okafor when the girl is also in detention on the orders of the court.
However, some residents have insisted that the same format that applied to the case of Yunusa Yellow must be allowed to prevail to see a logical conclusion in the case of Okafor.
Speaking on the matter, a community leader in Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Yakubu Ahmed, said he will join hands with concerned minds to oppose any attempt to sweep the case under the carpet or give it tribal or religious interpretation.
He said the law must be followed to the letter in this matter since what is good for the goose, is also good for the gander. “You can’t apply two different judgements on two similar cases just because one involves a Hausa man while the other applies to an Igbo man. We will resist any attempt to treat this matter differently,” Alhaji Ahmed noted.