Crime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

NURTW war: Produce Kunle Poly for bail, court orders police

The Zone 2 Police Command has been directed to produce in court four members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Adekunle Lawal, a.k.a. Kunle Poly, Idowu Onikoyi, Shonibare Adekanbi, and Hakeem Agboola on Thursday (tomorrow) for hearing of their bail applications.

The order was issued by the High Court of Lagos State, presided over by Justice T.A.O. Oyekan-Abdullahi, while granting three separate Motion Exparte differently filed and argued by the applicants through their lawyer, S. A. Oshodi, wherein he asked the court for an order of Habeas Corpus ad subjciendum to produce them in court for unconditional release from the illegal and unlawful detention.

Justice Oyekan-Abdullahi, while granting the application declared that: “Upon this motion Exparte dated and filed on the 16th February 2022 praying for following Orders. And after hearing S. A. Oshodi with O. J. Sasore for the applicants, and upon reading the affidavit in support dated and filed on 16th February 2022 at the High Court Registry deposed to by Lawal Olatunde Sikiru, Male Adult, Muslim and Nigerian Citizen of 13, Patience Street, Apapa Road, Lagos State, “It is hereby ordered: An order of Habeas Corpus ad subjciendum directing the respondents to produce the applicants before the Honourable court,

“That the said order shall be issued and served on the respondent. Case adjourned to 24th February 2022, at 12 noon”.

It would be recalled that Kunle Poly, Idowu Onikoyi, Shonibare Adekanbi and Hakeem Agboola had dragged the Inspector-General of Police; The Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 2 Police Command; Inspector Silas and The Nigeria Police Service Commission before the court in their different applications for enforcement of their fundamental rights, marked LD/1292MFHR/2022; LD/12898MFHR/2022 and LD/12900MFHR/2022.

Specifically, the trio brought their applications pursuant to Order 46 Rule 1 of the High Court (Civil Procedure 2019) of Lagos State; Sections 34 (1), 35 (1), (6), 36 (5) AND 46 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); Order IV Rules 3 of the fundamental rights (enforcement procedure) rules 2009 and under the Court’s inherent jurisdiction.

In an affidavit in support of the motion Exparte deposed to by one Lawal Olatunde Sikiru, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the deponent stated that on the 31st day of January 2022, the applicants; Adekunle Abdulazeez Lawal (A.K.A Kunle Poly), Idowu Onikoyi, Shonibare Adekanbi and Hakeem Agboola were invited to the office of the second respondent, where they were confronted with a petition against them, upon which they were arrested and detained.

The deponent stated that since January 31, 2022, the applicants have been tortured and molested by the respondents in grave violation of the Fundamental Rights of the applicant as provided and protected by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. And that the respondents ably represented by the second respondent have denied the applicants bail despite repeated demands by their counsel.

The deponent stated further that on the 2nd day of February 2022, the applicants were brought before Magistrate Linda Balogun of Court 3 Yaba where the prosecution obtained a 30-days remand order to enable the respondents to conduct and conclude investigations into a purported case of murder, threat to life and property, violence, cultism, illegal possession of firearms, amongst other things and that the respondents have searched the premises of the applicants in search of the so-called incriminating evidence but found none, neither were any arms or dangerous weapons recovered from the applicants upon detention, adding that the respondents have by their actions presumed the applicants guilty having breached the applicants’ fundamental rights without lawful justification.

He stated that he was informed by the applicants’ Counsel that the Honourable Magistrate Court 3 Yaba lacked the powers to remand the applicants over offences which the Magistrate Courts have no jurisdiction over and that the detention pending investigation is unlawful and a violation of the Fundamental Rights of the applicant, as the applicants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

He stated that the applicants have not been convicted by any Court of competent jurisdiction to warrant the illegal detention of the applicant. He also stated that a petition to the office of the respondents is not prima facie proof of the commission of a crime and that there was no pending charge before the Court upon which the jurisdiction of the Magistrate’s Court was invoked when the Honourable Magistrate remanded the applicants.

He stated that from the above, the applicants are in unlawful detention and that it is in the interest of justice that the applications of the applicants are granted as they are currently in unlawful detention.

The Office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos in whose custody the applicants are presently being detained has been served with the Order of Court and are expected to produce the applicants before the Court tomorrow, 24th February 2022 at noon.

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