A Magistrate Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Tuesday, denied to grant a passenger debarked and handed over to the Police for making sensitive statement about President-elect, Bola Tinubu onboard an Ibom Air Abuja-Lagos bound flight penultimate Friday, Obiajulu Uja, bail.
Ruling on the bail application filed by Uja, though his counsel, Senior Magistrate Mohammed Abdulazeez Ismail, sitting at Zuba, Abuja, held that the application was premature.
According to him, the exhibits attached to the application did not say the defendant was unfit to fail trial but rather indicated he was of unsound mind.
He held that while the constitution guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can deprive a person their liberty based on health grounds.
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Citing the provisions of Section 35(1)(e) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 278 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, the Magistrate held that Uja cannot be granted bail.
He held that where the mental capacity of a defendant is an issue, the court has the duty to ascertain the medical situation of such a defendant, adding that the exhibits attached to Uja’s bail application raised the issue of his medical capacity.
He subsequently turned down the bail application and ordered that Uja be held at the Kuje Correctional centre of Nigerian Correctional Service.
He further ordered the head of the centre to take the defendant to a government hospital to ascertain Uja’s mental capacity.
He then adjourned the matter to April 20 for report and hearing.