The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Monday ruled that Mr. Yunusa Dahiru, aka Yellow, the alleged abductor of 14-year-old Ese Oruru, should be returned to prison.
Justice H.A Ngajiwa ruled that Yunusa should remain in the remand facility pending the determination of his bail application.
The judge’s order followed the inability of both the five-man defence team of the suspect, led by Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, and the three-man team of police prosecutors headed by Kenneth Dika to present ‘cited authorities’ in their arguments during the court session.
Ngajiwa held that the application for bail could not be fully heard since counsel to both parties could not furnish the court with all authorities cited in their cases as directed by the court, especially whenever the lawyers’ processes are to be adopted.
However, Dahiru, who is facing a five counts of criminal abduction, illicit sex, sexual exploitation and unlawful carnal knowledge, was brought into the court room accompanied by some prison officials.
Kano-born Dahiru, who appeared sad throughout the court session and seemed emaciated, was dressed in a green traditional Hausa dress.
He was asked to climb down from the dock when it was obvious that his case could not proceed on Monday.
A prayer that the judge should allow Ese, the alleged victim, to be quizzed or have her evidence taken in private was vehemently rejected by the defence team.
The seven-paragraph affidavit asking for bail was deposed to by Oladeji Maxwell of Olaosebikan and Co., while the defence team’s affidavit rejecting the bail application was deposed to by Debo Waheed, a member of the police prosecuting team.
The prosecution prayed the court not to grant the bail request by Yunusa’s legal team, which aside Olaosebikan, included Audu Bulama, Oche Alex, Yahaya Sheriff and Huwaila Mohammed.
But Yunusa’s legal team argued that since it was a ‘bailable’ offence, the judge should not have any inhibitions in granting the prayer of the suspect.
In opposing the bail application, the police noted that it was difficult to ‘retrieve’ Yunusa from the Muslim Council in Kano when he was first arrested, arguing that if the accused was granted bail, it would literally put an end to the case.
‘’It took the police from August till now to get the suspect arrested. If he’s granted bail, he will not come back to this court because he is not even resident in this jurisdiction,” the prosecution argued.
But Olaosebikan, the lead counsel to Yunusa, called on the judge to disregard the prosecution’s prayer, arguing that the statement was even an indictment on the police legal team.
“It is preposterous that a member of the police force would say that they cannot retrieve Yunusa from the Muslim council in Kano, when the members of that body are all civilians. The court should not rely on that argument,’’ Olaosebikan said.
In a brief ruling, Justice Ngajiwa reserved ruling on the bail application to a later date and ordered that Yunusa should be sent back to prison.
“Ruling is hereby reserved for March 21 and suspect is to be remanded in prison custody,” he ordered.
During the last court session, Yunusa who claims he’s 18 years old, had admitted impregnating the teenage girl, but pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the five-count charges in the case No FHC/YNG/17c/2016 between the Inspector General of Police versus Yinusa Dahiru.
The police had accused Yunusa of conspiring with the duo of Dankano Mohammed and one Mallam AlHassan to ‘abduct, coerce, deceive and sexually assault’ Ese Oruru.
The prosecution argued that the suspect committed an offence punishable under section 27(a) of the Trafficking in persons (prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act, 2015.