A magistrate’s court sitting in Wuse zone 6, Abuja, has granted bail to five #EndSARS protesters who were arrested after regrouping on Friday.
Paul Akinwumi, Davo Chom, Abdulsalam Suberu, Kabiru Gasali, Yaziru Bashiru and Oluwatosin Adeniji, a journalist covering the protest, were arraigned by the police on allegations of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, inciting public disturbance and public nuisance.
The defendants were remanded in custody after the magistrate refused to accept an oral bail application moved by Tope Akinyode, their counsel. However, when the case was called on Wednesday, Akinyode prayed the court to grant his clients bail.
Ruling on the application, Abdulrazak Eneye, chief magistrate, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N50,000. Eneye added that each defendant must present one surety in like sum.
Prior to the ruling, the chief magistrate expressed displeasure over a publication on the arraignment of the EndSARS protesters which he said were “twisted and turned upside down on social media”.
Eneye said although the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria allows freedom of expression, there are laws guiding court proceedings and any violation of the rule will lead to contempt of court.
He implored media practitioners to always get its facts accurate in judicial reporting and avoid undue sensationalism and sub-judice in the matter pending before the court.
There was no legal representation for the prosecution (police) and no excuse was offered for the absence.