The authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command yesterday sparked off controversy following its decision to arraign Fifty-Eight suspected cultists at the State High Court on two count charges of conspiracy and membership of a cult group in the state.
Over 106 suspects, including Four Minors, were arrested last week during a special Police raid of some black spots in the state capital, Yenagoa and 58 charged to State High Court sitting in Yenagoa.
The presiding Judge, Justice Naiyi Aganaba, after listening to the argument from the counsels to the applicants on bail and the concession by the Police prosecuting Counsel, James Amate, granted bail to the suspects with conditions to show proof of innocence and non-membership of the secret cult.
Also listed as condition for bail are the fact that a bail fixed for N100,000 and the surety for bail bond must be signed by a Senior Civil Servant from Grade Level 7 and must be resident in Yenagoa.
Justice Aganaba however adjourned the case till 20th of October, 2016.
Meanwhile, angry parents of the arraigned suspects staged a peaceful protest outside the State High Court premises, alleging that those arrested were illegally arrested and innocent of the charges brought against them in court.
A parent ,who identified himself as Kelvin, said his son was arrested few metres away from their home while on errand to buy loaf of bread, “when I accosted the policemen when I heard the scream for help by my son, they threatened to shoot me dead. They asked me what my son was doing outside after 8pm.”
Another woman, who claimed to be wife to one of the arraigned ,said his husband was arrested few minutes after concluding their new born baby girl’s child dedication at home, “he was walking guest to the bus stop when he was arrested.All plea and explanation fell on deaf ears. How do I bail him when we just spent money on hospital bill for new baby delivery and baby dedication?”
Also protesting were some members of the Hausa Community in Yenagoa, who claimed that over 32 persons of Hausa origin were arrested, but twelve were arraigned in court including Four underage boys, “Most of them were commercial motorcyclists known as Keke Napep.”