A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, this morning refused to hear the bail application filed before it, urging the court to admit to bail Patrick Ifeanyi Uba and other four executives of Capital Oil and Gas Ltd.
They were ordered to be remanded in police custody by a Tinubu, Lagos Magistrate’s Court on Friday. Instead of hearing the bail application, the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang ordered the counsel to the suspects, Dr. Joseph Nwobike (SAN), to put the police from Special Fraud Unit, SFU, on notice.
When the matter was mentioned this morning, Nwobike told the court that he had filed a motion ex-parte seeking the release of the suspects. He said the applicants were invited by the SFU via a letter and were asked to report at their office at Ikoyi on 8 and 9 October, 2012.
The applicants responded to the invitation on 9 October but upon their arrival, they were detained and since then, they were refused any form of administrative bail conditionally or unconditionally.
In view of this, there is likelihood that they might not be granted any bail. He said the action of the respondents was reprehensible and a contravention of section 36(4)(5)(a) of the1999 Constitution.
The counsel said the respondents have detained the applicants beyond the normal time prescribed by the constitution while there was no formal charge against them.
He urged the court to grant the bail application brought before it. In his brief ruling, Justice Abang said, “the order sought is not possible in nature. Being so, it is neater and better to hear the respondents before taking any decision.”
Using his power under order 26, rule 10 of the Federal High Court Civil Procedure Rule, he converted the ex-parte application to motion on notice to be served on the respondents.
He gave them till 10 a.m. tomorrow to file their response.
Thereafter, Justice Abang adjourned the matter till 1 p.m. tomorrow.