Court grants Ukatu bail, fixes October 6 for hearing
The Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, last Friday, granted the Managing Director of Mallinson & Partners, Mr. Afamefuna Mallinson Ukatu and second defendant, Sunday Ibekwute bail.
This is sequel to his application for bail filled before the court by counsel to Ukatu led by Victor Opara, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) challenging the continued detention of his client without charging same to court.
The case suffered series of adjournments before the 8th July, 2022 due to the failure of the NDLEA to bring the said accused persons to court since their arrest and detention in agency’s facilities in April this year.
It took an order of the Ikoyi court presided by Justice P. O. Lifu, compelling NDLEA to produce Ukatu and other accused persons in the case to be brought before him within two (2) hours on Friday July 8, 2022.
Mallinson was brought to a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi for the first time by the NDLEA on the allegations of importation of tramadol worth over N3 billion alongside co-accused person, Mr. Sunday Ibekwute since their arrest on 13th April 2022.
NDLEA finally produced Ukatu to the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos on July 10 where the presiding judge, Justice Peter Lifu after upholding Ukatu and Ibekwute’s bail applications filed, fixed July 18, 2022.for hearing.
The July 18 date could not hold but the court sitting last Friday, July 22, 2022 granted the duo bail in accordance with their human rights and fixed October 6, 2022 for hearing of the case.
Counsel to Ukatu further pushed for hearing, which was granted by the court so that according to him, the truth would be revealed as soon as possible.
Justice Peter Lifu upheld Ukatu and Ibekwute’s bail applications with the condition that both deposit the sum of N100 million with two sureties in the like sum.
One of the sureties, according to the judge, must be an industrialist, specifically, a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) who must be a landed property owner within the court’s jurisdiction.
The second surety must be a Grade Level 15 official either in a Federal or Lagos State establishment.
The judge also ordered the defendants to deposit their international passports with the court’s registry and to file an affidavit of dual citizenship if they hold more than Nigerian nationality.