Yunusa Dahiru, alleged abductor of Ese Oruru, the Bayelsa teenage girl who was taken to Kano, and converted to Islam, has been granted a N3million bail.
The police had arrested Yunusa in Kano on March 3, transferred him to Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, where he was arraigned before H. A. Nganjiwa, a justice of the federal high court, on March 8, on a five-count charge bordering on kidnap and sexual exploitation.
Yunusa had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But Kenneth Dika, counsel for the prosecution, told the trial judge that the victim was a minor and deserved the court’s protection.
Dika said the state was ready with six witnesses to ensure successful prosecution of the case.
However, Kayode Olaoshebikan, Yunusa’s counsel, opposed Dika’s application and sought for bail for his client, arguing that it was a matter between “two love birds”.
“It is easy for the prosecution to bring up charges but Yunusa as a man has pleaded not guilty and it is left for the prosecution to prove their case beyond every reasonable doubt,” he had said.
“It is a case of two love birds. In our social parlance, we call it elopement, but government and the state prefer to call it abduction and it is left for the court to decide whether it is abduction or elopement of two minors.”
He buttressed his application with sections 152 and 162 of the administration of criminal act and section 32 of the constitution, seeking an order to admit the accused to bail pending the determination of his case.
James Anata, Ese’s counsel, opposed the bail application, arguing that if Yunusa was admitted to bail, the course of justice would not be served, as the accused, who is not resident in Yenagoa, would go back to Kano.
After listening to the arguments, Nganjiwa adjourned the matter to Monday for ruling on Yunusa’s bail application and for Ese to give evidence in private.
In his ruling on Monday, the judge granted Yunusa N3million bail and asked him to produce two sureties in like sum.
He said the sureties, who must be resident in Bayelsa, should provide tax clearance of at least three years.
Nganjiwa also ordered that Yunusa be remanded in prison custody till he fulfilled the bail conditions.
The judge adjourned the matter to April 17 for ruling on the application for Oruru to give evidence in private.
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