Lagos, – An Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Tuesday refused to grant a lawyer, Louis Mbanefo, charged with the obstruction of justice bail on self-recognition.
Instead, Magistrate Yewande Aje-Afunwa granted Mbanefo bail in the sum of N500,000 with one surety in the like sum.
Aje-Afunwa said she refused to grant the application bail on self-recognition on the grounds that the defendant had had the ample time to produce the suspect he stood surety for at the police station.
According to Aje-Afunwa, the charge before me reads that the suspect you stood surety for has been at large since Jan. 27.
“Why will you just say he (suspect) will come, and expect us (the court) to believe that”.
The magistrate, then, adjourned the case to June 22 for mention.
Earlier, the prosecutor, ASP Samson Ekikere, had told the court that Mbanefo, a senior member of the bar, had stood as a surety for another lawyer, Luke Emejulu, at the ‘X’ Squad Section, Lagos Police Command, Ikeja.
He said, “Mbanefo, on Jan. 21 at 12.15 p.m. entered into a N500,000 bond to stand as a surety to produce Emejulu, who was being investigated by the police.
“The bail was granted in accordance with Section 118 of the Criminal Justice Administration of Lagos State, but the defendant failed to produce the suspect since Jan. 27”.
Ekikere urged the court not to grant Mbanefo the bail on self-recognition which his counsel, Mr Emmanuel Dike, had applied for.
He urged the court to order the defendant to show cause as to why he should not forfeit the bail sum.
Dike , however, had told the court that his client was not duly informed by the police that the person he stood as surety for was urgently wanted by the police.
He argued that if his client and learned friend had been given the time, he would have produced Emejulu because he knows the law.
“The police did not give my client and, indeed a learned friend and senior member at the bar, time when he was to have produced the suspect.
“He was only informed of this development yesterday (Monday) and he was arrested immediately.
“The police is doing this to embarrass the bar,” Dike said.