Just in: 38 women jailed in Nasarawa granted bail 7days after ***To produce guarantor not below the rank of a director ***To pay bail bond of N2million as bail conditions. You are behind the women’s arrest—– PDP accuses Sule ***Gov Sule not involved in the women’s arrest— Aide

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By David Okpashi

LAFIA — THE 38 women protesters arrested last Friday and taken to prison in Nasarawa state has been granted bail with stringent conditions.

The presiding Chief Magistrate sitting in Lafia, Thursday granted bail to the 38 persons allegedly arrested for public disturbance after the Supreme Court judgment that affirmed governor Abdullahi Sule as the winner of the March 18 governorship election in the state.

The Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Lanze granted the bail following a legal intervention by the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Labaran Magaji when the matter came up for mentioned in continuation of hearing on the bail application in Lafia.

Citing section of the law that gives a State Attorney General power to take over state matters in a competent court of jurisdiction, the State Commissioner for Justice, Mr Labaran Magaji urged the Magistrate Court to grant the 38 defendants bail as the allegations leveled against them are bailable.

The AG said that the offences committed by the defendants were bailable by the provision of the laws and as such, the state had withdrawn the counter earlier filed to save the time of the court.

The commissioner however advocated stringent conditions to be given to the defendants as prerequisite for their bail and to enable them to always appear before the court whenever they are needed.

Ruling on the bail application, the Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Lanze granted the 38 defendants bail urging them to pay a bail bond of N2 million each with a surety who must be a Director in the service of the state or federal government among other conditions.

On his part, Barr. Ayiwulu Baba-Ayiwulu, Counsel to the defendants appealed that the bail condition be simplify to enable them meet the condition.

He appealed that Barr. Esson Mairiga, House of Assembly Member representing Lafia North at the Nasarawa State Assembly had offered to stand as surety to all the defendants.

The court therefore asked the defending counsel to apply formally and assured that the appeal would be consider in the interest of justice.

The defendants who were brought to the court by the personnel of the Nigeria Correctional Service were later taken back to the custodial center in Lafia pending when the defendants meet up with the bail conditions.

There were heavy presence of a combined team of security personnel within and around the Magistrate court along Shendam road which led to diversion of movement of vehicles to forestall any breakdown of law and order just as the court adjourned the case to February 28

Recalled that the State Commissioner of police had arraigned the 38 defendants on four counts charges of unlawful assembly, criminal conspiracy, disturbance of public peace and mischief by fire.

Reacting, the state chairman of the People’s Democratic party, chief Francis Orogu in a press statement made available to our reporter, accused governor Abdullahi Sule of been behind the brutality and arrest and confinement of women protesters in a prison custody.

Orogu noted that governor Sule has not been comfortable with the women protesters who insisted that the March 28 governorship election was manipulated by the electoral empire in favor of Sule.

Orogu alleged that the record of electoral register in and result of the elections are there in the two Gayam and Chiroma wards to prove the manipulation of the elections.

Meanwhile, In a Swift reaction, the Senior Special Adviser to governor Sule on public Affairs, Peter Ahemba denied governor Sule of having hand in the arrest and confinement of the women protesters in the state.

Peter in a statement issued and made available to Journalists in Lafia, Thursday said the State Police Command, in the performance of it’s constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order, arrested some persons believed to have been sponsored by the leadership of the PDP to stage a needless protest thereby causing public disturbance, in violation of a peace pact earlier signed by leaderships of the ruling APC and the opposition PDP to maintain peace before, during and after the Apex Court ruling on the Governorship dispute.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear to Mr. Orogu and his co-travellers that Governor Sule, as a democrat and respecter of the rule of law does not meddle into the affairs of security agencies, the judiciary and other arms of government and therefore the allegation that the Governor is behind the arrest of the PDP supporters is baseless and unfounded”.

“While We sympathise with the arrested protesters and pray that the judiciary will temper justice with mercy, we wish to cautio against our women been used for selfish political reasons.

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