The Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected the bail applications of individuals believed to be involved in criminal activities allegedly linked to the governorship candidate of a political party in Kogi State.
The Appellants/applicants had previously sought bail, which was denied by Hon. Justice Jamil Isah of the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja.
In a carefully considered judgment delivered on Friday, the Court of Appeal, presided over by Hon. Justice Mohammed Mustapha JCA, also refused their bail applications. Ojonimi Apeh, Esq represented the Appellants/Applicants, while Badama Kadiri, Esq (DPP) appeared for the Respondent.
The Appellants, namely Kabiri Echi Iyalo, Adama Kerim, Kabir Abdullahi, and Salisu Isah Umar, were apprehended during a joint operation by security agencies while en route to Abuja on March 26, 2023. According to a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Department of State Services, Peter Afunanya, the suspects were found in possession of dangerous weapons and ammunition in their vehicle. This discovery came after credible intelligence indicated that certain thugs, loyal to a politician who had been suspended and subsequently excluded from their party’s gubernatorial screening exercise in Kogi State, were planning to disrupt the screening exercise in Abuja.
The applicants were charged and brought before the Kogi State High Court on offenses related to criminal conspiracy, terrorism, and unlawful possession of weapons, as per sections 97, 418, and 424, respectively. However, their motion for bail was denied by the Kogi State High Court in Lokoja.
Subsequently, in an attempt to secure bail for the defendants, their counsel filed an application for bail pending appeal and simultaneously lodged an interlocutory appeal.
The counsel representing the respondents, on behalf of the State, vehemently opposed the bail application filed separately for each of the four Appellants/applicants. The application was argued, reserved for ruling, and ultimately denied.