On Friday, Justice Yetunde Adesanya, presiding at the Lagos State High Court in Tafawa Balewa Square, rejected the bail application of Frederick Nwajagu, who holds the title of Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, and is facing prosecution for alleged terrorism.
The vacation judge based her decision on the seriousness of the offense and the severity of the potential punishment. Nwajagu is currently standing trial on nine charges related to attempting acts of terrorism, financing terrorism, participating in terrorism, and supporting a proscribed entity.
Earlier, on July 25, 2023, Nwajagu had applied for bail, citing his medical reports and asserting that he was not a flight risk. However, at the resumed hearing on Friday, the court declined the bail application and granted an accelerated hearing.
Justice Adesanya explained, “Considering the seriousness of the offense, the severity of the punishment, and the evidence presented, the court is compelled to refuse the bail application. The request for an accelerated hearing is approved.”
Notwithstanding the denial of bail, the judge directed the correctional facility officials to arrange for the defendant to receive treatment at a government hospital. The case was adjourned until October 3, 2023.
During previous proceedings, the defendant’s counsel, Mr. E. C. Obiagu (SAN), had appealed for bail based on Nwajagu’s medical condition. He also emphasized that the defendant was a widower with six children and had no intention of fleeing, as he did not possess an international passport.
On the other hand, the Lagos State Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions, Jonathan Ogunsanya, urged the court to deny the defendant’s bail and requested an accelerated hearing. He argued that the circumstances under which bail was granted at the lower court were different from the charges filed at the high court. The charges brought against the defendant by the police were distinct from those brought by the attorney general.
The suit filed by the Lagos State Government alleged that Nwajagu’s actions violated Section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, as well as Sections 12(a) (c), 18, 21, and 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022.
The arrest of Nwajagu was conducted by operatives of the Department of State Services, following an alleged threat to invite members of the Indigenous People of Biafra to Lagos to safeguard properties of Igbo people in the state.
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