Police arraign estate owner for alleged illegal possession of firearms

An estate owner, Stanley Ani has been arraigned before of the Federal High Court in Abuja on three counts for allegedly possessing firearms without licence, as the police accused him of being possession of two automatic pump action guns without licence and 20 rounds of cartridges in Ndiaga Amechi Uwani, Enugu State, in 2020

Penpushing reports that the defendant, however, denied the three charges, pleading not guilty, as they were read to him one after the other on Thursday, and subsequently, his lawyer, E.A Igwe, urged the court to grant him bail on liberal terms

The defence counsel told the court that his client had been on an administrative bail granted by the police, and premised the defendant bail request on Sections 35 and 35 of the Nigerian constitution, arguing that his client has been on administrative bail granted by the police on self-recognisance.

Penpushing further reports that Igwe, therefore urged the court to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms, and equally prayed the judge to give his client five days to fulfill whatever bail conditions that the court would impose on him.

The judge, Justice Nkeonye Maha, however, rebuked the defence lawyer for taking away the constitutional powers of the court to determine a defendant’s bail conditions, noting that from the records of the court, the defendant, on five occasions, failed to appear in court.

Penpushing also reports that the judge threatened to report the defendant lawyer to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) over his conduct in the case, however, the prosecuting lawyer, Chika Amuka, did not oppose the bail request.

The judge in a bench ruling, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N2 million and ordered him  to produce two sureties who must be civil servants not below level nine in the Federal Civil Service,and in addition ordered the defendant and the two sureties to surrender their passports to the Chief Registrar of the court.

Penpushing reports that thereafter, the judge ordered the defendant’s remand at Kuje prison in Abuja pending when he meets the bail conditions, while the suit was adjourned until May 20, 2024 for commencement of trial.

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