The Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has granted bail to a 22-year-old prison inmate who was delivered of a baby girl in the Uyo Correctional Centre.
Justice Ntong Ntong granted the nursing mother and her brother unconditional bail in sympathy that the six month-old baby girl had been in prison since she was born on September 24, 2022.
The nursing mother, a POS operator, and her younger brother, a sales boy in a bakery, both indigenes of Edem Idim Ibakesi in Ini LGA, were held in prison while awaiting trial for allegedly receiving a stolen phone worth N2,000.
It was gathered that the siblings, who are orphans, were charged for conspiracy to receive stolen property and receiving stolen property and were abandoned by the prosecution in prison.
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City & Crime learnt that they had in their extrajudicial statements said they bought an itel phone worth N2,000 from a neighbour without knowing it was stolen, for which they were held in prison custody since January, 2022.
Counsel to the defendants and State Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (LACN), Barr Samson Adula, told the court that Inspector Omodot Itoro-Etim, attached to the Intelligence Bureau, state police command, was responsible for the arrest and detention of the orphans.
Inspector Itoro-Etim was said to have accused the siblings and two others of breaking into her shop on Aka Etinan Road, Uyo, in December, 2019, and stealing phones and recharge cards.
In his ruling, Justice Ntong said the situation was enough to admit the defendants to bail, especially because of the child.
Justice Ntong also said that the mother of the child who dropped out of school in SS2 and her younger brother in SS3 were constitutionally presumed innocent and conceded to the written application for adjournment by the prosecuting counsel.
The judge excused the absence of the prosecuting counsel, but said the date suggested in the application letter was not convenient to the court and adjourned the matter to Monday, March 13, 2023.
Justice Ntong said, “The defendants are hereby granted bail on self-recognition and unconditionally to a surety who shall leave his contact address with this court. He shall produce them in court on Monday, March 13, 2023.
“The Officer in charge of the Uyo Correctional Centre is hereby ordered to comply with this order and release the accused persons forthwith to the said surety. I so hold.”
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