By Catherine Agbo,
But for a phone call by former President Olesugun Obasanjo, former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, who was arrested for alleged incitement would still be languishing in jail, LEADERSHIP Friday has gathered.
The former governor was arrested on Sunday in Kano for allegedly making inciting statements.
Lamido reportedly urged his supporters in the peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to mar the forthcoming local government election in the state. His arrest followed a complaint lodged by the Jigawa State government.
When he appeared before the Jigawa Chief Magistrates Court on Tuesday, the former governor was charged with allegations bordering on inciting public disturbance, defamation of character, criminal intimidation and disturbance of public peace.
The trial magistrate, Chief magistrate Muhammad Lamin, refused him bail and adjourned the case till May 4 (yesterday) for continuation.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that Obasanjo, who is close to the former governor, having appointed him Minister, called the Jigawa governor to intervene and see to the release of the former governor.
This was after he had earlier spoken with the former governor and extracted a commitment from him to desist from further inflammatory comments and maintain a low profile.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that Obasanjo called the duo early in the morning on Wednesday.
“Baba called the governor and told him to ensure that Lamido is released on the next adjourned date for the case, which was yesterday. He also cautioned the former governor against further unguarded statements”, the source who craved anonymity said.
Consequently, when hearing on the matter resumed yesterday, Chief Magistrate Lamin who had earlier denied Lamido bail, after spending four nights in detention, curiously granted him bail on self recognition.
The prosecutor, Ikenna Ekpunobi, had argued that Lamido should not be granted bail because he could jeopardise peace in the state
But disagreeing vehemently with the prosecution counsel, the magistrate ruled that the charge of inciting violence against Lamido was bailable.
“(There is) no evidence before the court that if the accused person is granted bail he will jump bail and no evidence other people will commit similar offense and that the accused will jeopardise the peace of the state”, Lamin said.
He also rejected a Police report allegedly linking the former governor to violence by his supporters tendered before him.