Justice Daniel Danjuma Longji of Plateau State High Court has granted bail to 20 out of the 28 accused persons standing trail for various offences in connection with the killing of the immediate past Chief of Administration, Army Headquarters, Major General Idris Alkali (rtd).
General Alkali had gone missing on September 3 while travelling from Abuja to Bauchi via Jos. His vehicle was recovered from Dura-Du pond on September 29 and the remains of the late retired senior military officer was eventually found on October 31 in Guchwet village of Shen district in Jos South LGA. Alkali was later buried in Abuja on November 3.
Twenty eight suspects are presently standing trail on five-count charge of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, failure to give information to security agents on the crime, unlawful assembly for the purpose of committing an offence, and resisting the search for the late General Alkali’s body.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, Justice Longji granted bail of N1m and a surety in like sum to each of the twenty accused.
He said, the surety must swear an affidavit of a means of livelihood and must be traceable while a community leader must identify the surety.
The judge however said he could not rule on the bail application of the remaining eight accused who are being tried for conspiracy and culpable homicide because the court was on vacation and the arguments were voluminous and verbose.
He adjourned the matter to 25th January 2019 for ruling on bail application.
Earlier, Defence counsel, George Izere, Edwin Okoro and Bitrus Fwanshak had presented separate applications and sought an order of the court to grant the accused bail pending the determination of the case.
Izere had argued that bail was at the discretion of the court no matter how weighty the charges especially when the liberty of citizens was at stake.
However, the Director of Public Prosecution, Gedalia Fomyon had opposed bail arguing that the applications had been filed in bad faith by the defence counsels.
He said in as much as the liberty of the accused was at stake, the law must be followed in order to grant bail and that the application had fallen short of the exercise of the court’s discretion.
He further stressed that the liberty of an accused person was not absolute.