By Alex Enumah in Abuja
A Magistrate’s Court in Mpape area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has admitted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2018 governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, to bail in the sum of N2 million.
Adeleke was arraigned before the court on a five-count charge bordering on alleged false statement and forgery.
He pleaded not guilty to all the five-count charges read against him and his lawyer, Prince Adebiyi Adeyosoye, accordingly move an application for his bail.
Although the prosecution counsel opposed the application on grounds that the defendant did not show evidence of his ill health, however Justice Mohammed Zubaru, in his ruling held that he was mindful to grant the bail application.
As part of the conditions, the court ordered Adeleke to produce a surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the court’s jurisdiction.
Adeleke was on Tuesday, May 6, 2019, detained by the police at its headquarters in Abuja, after he submitted himself for interrogation in line with an order of a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The police after its interrogation brought Adeleke to the Mpape Magistrate’s Court for arraignment on the allegations of forgery.
Earlier, when the suit marked CR/26/19 was called, Adeleke’s lawyer, Adeyosoye, told the court that it would be impracticable for the court to proceed with the arraignment on the grounds that the defendant is already standing trial on the same charge in two different High Courts.
He submitted that going ahead with the arraignment would amount to abuse of court process.
Adeyosoye further told the court that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, who had on Friday, May 3, granted Adeleke permission to travel abroad for medical attention, ordered the police not to hinder Adeleke from embarking on his medical trip scheduled for Tuesday May 7, 2019.
The lawyer also presented before the court another order of a High Court in Osun, which specifically ordered the police not to arrest or prevent Adeleke from travelling abroad for medical attention.
The two court orders were tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibit A and A1.
He accordingly urged the court to adjourn indefinitely pending the hearing and determination of the two main suit.
Responding, the defence counsel, Simon Lough, opposed the application for adjournment on the grounds that the orders of the court on which the application was predicated did not say that the defedant cannot be arraigned.
Lough in addition informed the court that the complainant had already filed an appeal against the orders of Justice Ekwo of the Federal High Court.
He therefore urged the court to dismiss the application and order the defendant to take his plea.
Ruling on the application for adjournment, the magistrate held that going by the hierachy of court, the Magistrate Court is bound by the orders of a High Court.
He further held that the court cannot stop the defendant from enjoying his fundamental rights as ordered by the High Courts.
However, Justice Zubaru declined to adjourn the matter indefinitely on the grounds that nowhere in the two orders of the two High Courts that the police was ordered not to arraign the defendant.
He subsequently ordered that the charge be read to Adeleke for him to take his plea.
The matter has been adjourned till June 24 for commencement of trial.