Governor Adams Oshiomhole
An Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City Thursday ordered the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to release the Executive Director of African Network for Environmental and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor.
The court presided over by Justice Esther Edigin, said the continuous detention of the applicant without trial was a clear violation of Section 37 (5) of the 1999 Constitution.
Ruling on the exparte motion sought by counsel to Ugolor, Mr. Olayinwola Afolabi, the judge expressed dismay that the respondents (police and the Attorney General of the Federation) had not responded to his motion on notice that was served on them.
“Since the applicant is not in court, I cannot grant him bail, but rather order the respondents to release him forthwith; pending the determination of the substantive suit.”
Ugolor was arrested May 4, 2012 by the security operatives in connection with the murder of Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
Police sources had said one of the suspects in its custody allegedly named him (Ugolor) as the sponsor of the killing.
Following this, Afolabi in suit No. R/496/2012 applied for his bail, praying the court that the motion for bail was in pursuance of Order 111 Rule 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 Section 34, 35,39,41 and 45 of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Articles 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 7 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
He argued that the respondents have continued to violate the fundamental human rights of the applicant; even when operatives of the SSS had paraded the alleged killers of Oyerinde.
Reacting, Olayinwola who hailed the court’s ruling, said the judgment will be served on the respondents adding: “This is an order, if they refuse to release him, we can file contempt against them.”