Anti-Tinubu protester, Uja denied bail

A MAGISTRATE Court sitting in Zuba, Abuja on Tuesday, April 11, refused to grant bail to a passenger, Obiajulu Uja, who was ejected from an Ibom Airlines flight after publicly opposing President-elect Bola Tinubu’s inauguration.

The passenger was arrested by security operatives and has been in detention since the incident.

However, the bail application he filed through his lawyer Ejike Ugwu was dismissed by Senior Magistrate Mohammed Ismail.

The lawyer had asked the court to grant Uja bail on health grounds.

The magistrate ruled that the application was premature.

Denying the passenger bail, Ismail held that the exhibits attached to the application did not say the defendant was unfit for trial but rather indicated he was of unsound mind.

He added that while the Constitution guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can deprive a person of their liberty.

Referencing 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 maintained 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.



    Subsequently, the bail application was turned down by the magistrate who ordered that Uja be held at the Kuje Correctional Centre of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

    The magistrate further ordered that Uja be taken to a government hospital to ascertain his mental capacity.

    The case was adjourned till April 20 for the presentation of a medical report, and hearing.

    The ICIR reported that on Friday, March 31, security operatives at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, arrested Uja for disrupting the take-off of an Ibom airline flight bound for Lagos, shouting “Tinubu can’t be sworn in”.

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