A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in the Sabo area of Yaba, Lagos has granted bail to a leader of the Igbo community, the Eze Igbo of Ajao Estate, Fredrick Nwajagu, aged 67.
Nwajagu was docked before the court for allegedly threatening to bring the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to the state, reports Channels TV.
Chief Magistrate Peter Nwaka granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1m with 4 sureties, all of whom must be resident in Lagos.
The court also ordered that one of the sureties must own a property in Lagos which must be registered with the land bureau and whose documents must be deposited with the court.
Before the court granted the defendant bail, the Prosecution had made an oral application to the effect that the remand order of the court still subsists, pending the receipt of the DPP’s advice.
Counsel to the defendant, Nkechi Agubuzor had however argued that the court has a duty to balance the cause of justice and same should be exercised judicially and judiciously. She sought the court’s permission to move her oral application for the bail of her client.
While noting that the DPP advice had not been received, the magistrate also noted that no acknowledgement had come from the DPP’s office on the matter.
Following the oral application of the defendant’s counsel, Magistrate Nwaka granted bail to the defendant.
Eze Fredrick Nwajagu was arrested on April 1, following a viral video in which he threatened to invite IPOB members to Lagos to secure properties of Igbo people living in the state.
At the last sitting of the court on April 5, the 67-year-old was docked before the court by the police on a two-count charge of conspiracy and conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace.
The police prosecutor, SP Thomas Nurudeen told the court that the Eze Ndigbo and some others at large committed the offences on March 26 at No. 2, Akeem Shitu Street, Ajao Estate, Lagos State.
He alleged that Nwajagu put fear in Lagos residents when he threatened to bring IPOB to the state. Nwajagu was also said to have publicly stated that IPOB would shut Lagos State for one month.
According to Nurudeen, this alleged offences contravene Sections 168 (d) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Being a remand proceeding to ensure lawful detention, the plea of the defendant was not taken at that proceeding.
The court simply ordered the remand of the defendant at the Ikoyi custodial facility for 30 days pending the legal advice of the State’s Director of Public Prosecution, DPP.
The Chief Magistrate said he would await the advice of the state’s DPP, Dr Babajide Martins on how to proceed before adjourning the case till today May 3 for mention.