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Ondo Court Revokes Bail Of Suspected Herdsman’s Killer



An Akure Magistrates’ Court has revoked the bail granted a suspected killer of Fulani herdsman, Ajayi Bayode on alleged pressure by the Ondo State Government.

Bayode who was alleged to have killed one of the Fulani herdsmen who invaded his farmland in Arigidi Akoko in Akoko Northwest Local Government area of the State, was granted bail due to his deteriorating health condition four days ago.

The suspect was docked last week Thursday on one count charge of murder contrary to Section 319 (1)of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol 1 of the laws of the state.

Bayode was however granted him bail so that he could treat himself in order to stand trial.

Dissatisfied with the order of the court, the state government through the office Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice asked the court to revoke the bail earlier granted the suspect.

When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice, Olubunmi Olatunji said the court should reverse its earlier order granted to the suspected killer of the herdsmen on the ground the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case ab-initio.

Olatunji said the court should set aside its decision of the June 14 granting the respondent bail for want of jurisdiction in pursuant to Section 156 of the administration of Criminal Justice.

According to the counsel, the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding it poses great security challenges to the accused, the community and the state at large.

She said, it is the High Court that has jurisdiction to hear cases that bordered on capital punishment if found guilty.

But the counsel to the accused, Mr Wale Omotoso said he needed time to respond to the application made by the state government as he was served with the court processes earlier in the day.

In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob-Manuel ordered the accused to be taken the custody by the police.

She however said accused should be transferred to the hospital so that he could get medical attention and that he should be taken to the prison custody thereafter.

Bob-Manuel said since her court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case, the counsel to the accused should seek bail for his client at the High Court.

Addressing journalists after the Court, Omotoso said the court was forced to reverse herself because of the pressure from the government.

He disclosed that the Magistrate was forced to revoke the bail on Monday; which was a public holiday.

According to Omotoso who was a former Chairman of the Akure Branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the government came with an application to set aside the lawful order earlier granted by the court.

His words “This is subversion of justice. If a person has been given bail because of pathetic health condition and overnight, the bail is revoked. The man is in jeopardy and may likely lose his life anytime from now. May God help us in this country.’’