Court denies ‘lone anti-Tinubu’ protester, Obiajulu Uja, bail


On Tuesday, a Zuba Magistrate Court in Abuja denied bail to one Obiajulu Uja, who protested against the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, while aboard an Ibom Air Abuja-Lagos flight.

Uja, who was taken off the plane and handed over to police, had applied for bail through his lawyer, Barr. Ejike Ugwu. However, Senior Magistrate Mohammed Abdulazeez Ismail dismissed the application, stating that it was filed too soon.

He ruled that the exhibits attached to the application did not state that the defendant was unfit for trial, but rather that he was mentally ill.

He also held that, while the constitution guarantees everyone’s liberty, a court can deprive someone of their liberty for medical reasons.

The Magistrate ruled that Uja cannot be granted bail, citing 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.

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 defendant.

He added 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 his mental capacity.

He then adjourned until April 20 for report and hearing.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Uja had held up the aircraft for over an hour, and it took the efforts of six airport security officers to evacuate him after he started the protest.

The police accused Uja of threatening violence and causing a breach of peace with his actions.

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