By Kayode Adeoti
A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin on Tuesday granted an interim bail to Alhaji Yusuf Abdulwahab, the Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, in the sum of N10million.
Abdulwahab has been held in police custody in Abuja since 2 June 2018 after he responded to Police invitation over his alleged link with suspects who carried out robbery attacks on commercial banks in Offa on April 5, 2018.
Hon. Justice M.O. Adewara granted the bail upon carefully considering the oral application for bail made on behalf of the governor’s aide by his counsel, Mr. Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) and the response of the counsel for the respondent, the Inspector General of Police.
It will be recalled that the Chief of Staff had initially filed a motion on notice before a Federal High Court in Abuja praying for an order granting him bail from police custody on the grounds that he had been detained for longer than 24 hours allowed by law, without charge.
But the presiding judge, Justice Babatunde Quadri rejected the bail application on the grounds that the subject matter of the case was outside the jurisdiction of his court. He therefore, ordered the transfer of the case to the High Court of Kwara State for hearing and determination.
The case was, thereafter assigned to Justice Adewara, who issued a hearing notice to the respondent, and initially fixed hearing for Tuesday, 17 July, 2018.
However, according Adelodun, no one represented the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Idris or filed any process on the said date of the hearing.
He then moved the court to grant his client’s bail application. The court then adjourned the case till Tuesday, 24 July, for ruling.
However, on Thursday, 19 July, the Officer in Charge Legal for the Police filed three processes, seeking for time to file a response, a notice of preliminary objection to the case and a counter affidavit to the application for Abdulwahab’s bail.
As a result, the ruling which was scheduled for Tuesday could, therefore, not be delivered.
Consequently, counsel to the Chief of Staff, made an oral application for his interim bail pending the determination of the main application.
According to Adelodun, Counsel to IGP did not object the application and left it to the discretion of the court. The IGP’s counsel however, sought to move a motion for extension of time, which was granted by the court.
Thereafter, Justice Adewara in his ruling, granted the Chief of Staff bail in the sum of N10million with two sureties each in like sum.
The judge also ruled that the sureties must be persons of means and should swear to an affidavit of means and deposit to the court, their respective certificates of occupancy of house or land located anywhere in Kwara State.
He then adjourned the case to 15 October, 2018 for hearing of the motion.
Meanwhile, Barr. Tunde Olumo who also stood in for the Kwara State Chief of Staff, Abdulwahab Babatunde (the applicant) has revealed that the bailiff has departed to Abuja to implement the order of the court and to ensure the release of his client.
He added that since the process to ensure the release of the Chief of Staff has commenced, hence, he expects him to arrive Ilorin, today (Thursday).
“As soon as the order is served on the respondent, which is the IGP, Abubakar Idris, I don’t think he has any option than to comply with the order of the competent jurisdiction which is the High Court of Kwara State judicial division.
“The bailiff of the High Court armed with the order made yesterday (Tuesday) was in Abuja, today to serve the IGP, I’m sure by now, all necessary legal perfections will be in process. We should be looking at tomorrow, (Thursday) for his return, though we have a liaising office in Abuja, he may want to spend some time there and return by weekend.”
When asked about the condition of his client in police custody, Olumo stated that the Chief of Staff is in good health adding that he contacted him on phone yesterday.
“He’s in good condition, hale and hearty. In fact, he is in high spirit. When I spoke with him this morning, he was fine, not tortured, I didn’t hear anything of such from him,” the legal practitioner disclosed.
…as court decides ‘PAPOL’ Lekan Alabi’s fate, next week
An Ilorin High Court will next Wednesday decide the motion for bail of Otunba Lekan Alabi, popularly known as PAPOL, who is the Personal Assistant, Political Matters (Kwara South) to the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.
It was learnt gathered last night that counsel to the governor’s aide; Barr Tunde Olumo has approached the state High Court with motion ex parte.
This medium further learnt that the suit was filed this week and the case has reportedly been assigned to Justice Adebayo Yusuf.
Speaking with our reporter, Olumo said PAPOL decided to seek legal redress over his fundamental human right that has been infringed upon.
He further confirmed that the case was filed yesterday and it will be heard before Justice Yusuf, next Wednesday.