Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court, Abuja, has varied the bail condition for Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while also ruling that he must fulfil the bail condition for him to be released from prison.
Relaxing the conditions for sureties, Justice Abang said the two sureties can have landed properties in any part of Abuja rather than only in Maitama.
Citing a ruling of the court granting Metuh bail, Abang held: “The court cannot be expected to sit on appeal over its decision.”
He directed the accused person to go on appeal against the ruling of the court if he was not satisfied with it.
But the judge while stating that the decision of the court to grant Metuh bail was not to keep him in custody, varied the condition requiring the accused person to have two sureties who must have landed property at Maitama, Abuja.
He held that the scope of ownership of property for the sureties was now expanded to include all parts of the federal capital territory. The sureties must, therefore, have landed property within Abuja, and not just at Maitama. That was the only prayer in the application for variation of bail sought by Metuh that was granted.
Emeka Etiaba, the defence counsel, had prayed the court to vary the conditions of Metuh’s bail on six grounds. One of the grounds was that the order requiring the provision of two sureties who must have landed property at Maitama, Abuja, be varied.
But Tahir Sylvanus, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said: “The prosecution is fundamentally opposed to the application of the first defendant for variation of bail.”
In response, the defence counsel argued that the prosecution had no right to oppose the application since it did not file a counter-affidavit and asked the court to exercise its discretion and vary the conditions of the accused person’s bail.