Court Orders Release Of Borno Journalist Accused Of Attempted Murder

A court in Borno State has ordered the release of Inuwa Bwala, the Publisher of Abuja-based newspaper, National Trail, who was detained by the police over  allegations of attempted murder of Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa.

Durkwa was reportedly on a visit to Marama which was Bwala’s hometown in 2015, when he was beaten by hoodlums and left for dead in a pool of his blood.

Bwala had been in police custody since he was arrested in Abuja and later moved down to Maiduguri two weeks ago for roles he was alleged to have played in the attack on Durkwa, who was the then Borno State Commissioner for poverty alleviation.

The accused person, Bwala, on his release was rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital after his health deteriorated while in police cell. He is said to have a medical record of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Justice Hadiza Jos of Borno state High Court Number 14 noted that the police had violated the laws of Nigeria by detaining the duo of Bwala and his driver Muhammed Audu, beyond two days without trial.

The lead council to Bwala, Zanna Hamza, told journalists that the publisher and his driver, Muhammed Audu, had also demanded the payment of sum of N2 billion compensation for damages.

Hamza stated that: “The application was filed on the 24th of January, 2017 and it was taken on Friday, because it was an experte.

“And then this morning (Monday) Her Lordship granted order ordering the police to release the applicant, that is Mr. Inuwa Bwala and his driver,Muhammed Audu, pending the hearing of the originating summon which is for 7th of February, 2017”

“The applicants are seeking to impose their fundamental human rights. The police went to Abuja and bundled him and his driver, they brought him to Maiduguri, and put them in a police cell, they denied him access to his medication, because he is diabetic and hypertensive,” he said.

According to Usman, “While in their custody, Mr. Inuwa’s hypertensive state shot up to over 200 plus; while his diabetic symptom went to 8 plus.”

    “He was almost collapsing, when the police doctor raised alarm that ‘this man will die in our hand; lets rush him.

    “They took him to the state specialists hospital, they said there was no bed space, and then they had to rush him to the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital,” he said.

    Usman added that himself and his client will return to the court on the 7th of February “for the hearing of the substantive application, and among what we are demanding is a declaration by the court that his arrest and continued detention for this period of time without framing charges as unconstitutional, illegal and null.”

    “We are also seeking for an apology to him from the authority and also a damage of N2 billion,” he said.

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