From Ahmed Idris Birnin Kebbi
The Federal High Court sitting in Birnin-Kebbi,Kebbi state capital has granted bail to five youth who were remanded in prison custody since January 2017 for allegedly dealing with cannabis saliva.
The case was presided over by Justice Simeo Amoboda, who the bail was granted based on evidence before the court.
The defendants, Habibu Musa,10 years old and others namely; Atiku Ahmadu,Sani Aliyu, Tsalhatur Maniru and Aliyu Boyi who are youth were arrested by the Nigeria Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at different towns within the state and remanded in prison when they could not meet up their bail conditions.
They were arrested with cannabis sativa, a narcotic drug allegedly similar to cocaine, heroin, ranging from 21 to 500 grams.
Rising to their plights,Barrister Rilwanu Umar, a Kano state base legal practitioner stood in for them in court as their counsel on humanitarian bases.
He told the court that their offences are bailable under section 118(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act and section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The defendants counsel argued further that his clients have been remanded in prison for many months while they have not been convicted stressed that one of them is a teenager’s and his continuous staying in prison could exposed him to notorious criminals whom might initiates him into hard crimes.
However, drama ensued in court when prosecutor for the federal government failed to appear in court, without any correspondence to the court.
While delivering his judgment, Justice Amoboda ruled that since the prosecutor failed to send in any correspondence to court except what the Clark told the court, the defendants are granted bail with N200,000 each, two sureties of which one must be a civil servant in Kebbi state on level 8 and a relative each with two passports Justice Amoboda also ruled that they must sign undertaking with the Registrar of the court after meeting up with bail conditions saying “ they must be remanded in prison until they satisfy their bail conditions “.
He commended the defendants counsel for his humanitarian services.