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Lawyer who criticised Buhari gets bail after 6 months in DSS custody

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Federal High Court in Abuja has released lawyer, Emperor Ogbonna, after almost six months in the custody of the Department of State Services, DSS.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the lawyer bail while ruling on a motion on notice, filed by a senior advocate, Chief Mike Ozekhome.

Ogbonna has been in custody of DSS since March 24, 2020, over alleged criticism of certain policies of President Muhammadu Buhari and comments that citizens may revolt due to alleged harsh living conditions unless the Federal Government provides a remedy.

Ozekhome, while pleading that the detained lawyer be admitted to liberal bail conditions, said that the fundamental rights of the detainee had been brutally breached.

Prosecution counsel, Isah Abubakar, opposed the bail application on the grounds that the applicant will escape justice in view of the gravity of his alleged offence.

Justice Taiwo agreed with Ozekhome that the law presumed the applicant innocent until found guilty by a competent court and that the fundamental rights of the applicant to freedom of liberty had been breached with the detention which exceeded the duration prescribed by law.

The judge, therefore, admitted Ogbonna to bail in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.

Among others, the sureties must provide evidence of tax payment and one of them must have a property in the Federal Capital Territory with verifiable documents.

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