It was mild drama and total disbelief at the Chief Magistrate Court 11in Lokoja when Mohammed, the eldest son of former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, was arraigned for armed robbery yesterday.
Mohammed was arrested on Wednesday night when he honoured the invitation of the men of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad at the “A” Division Office in Lokoja where he was subsequently detained and charged to court the following day.
The First information report stated among charges preferred against Mohammed includes criminal conspiracy, causing mischief and grievous hurt as well as attempted culpable homicide, all contrary to section 97 (1), 248, 327, 298 and 229 of the Penal Code.
Also in the FIR, the uncle of Mohammed, Alhaji Yahaya Audu, had alleged that prior to the attack on him on the 30th of last month, Mohammed had threatened to deal with him, adding that it was by sheer miracle that he escaped, when some hoodlums stormed his home at Ogbonicha, in the eastern flank of the state, firing sporadically at him.
Police prosecution officer, Mr. Otowu Gabriel, had told the court at the hearing that Mohammed and others still at large were behind the acts, even as investigation into the matter is still on-going.
In his submission, lead counsel to the accused, Mr. Okechukwu Ajunwa, urged the court to grant his client bail based on section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended as well as sections 141 provisions of section 341 (2 and 3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
He stated that having gone through the charge, there is nothing linking his client with the offences, even as he added that investigation into the matter was still on-going.
Ajunwa stressed that if his client is granted bail, he would not jeopardise the on-going investigation, more so that the accused was not arrested, but voluntarily honoured the invitation of the men of the Anti- Robbery Squad when he was invited to their office in Lokoja.
He further maintained that his client has no reason to escape justice as a prominent citizen of the state, and considering the fact that based on the provision of sub-section (3) of section 341 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an accused can be granted bail where there is on-going inquiry into a case.
The prosecution officer, Mr. Otowu Gabriel, however did not object to the bail application, leaving the matter at the discretion of the court.
In his ruling, the presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate Alhassan Hussain, who granted bail to the accused, urged him to always make himself available during court sessions and adjourned the case to 29th of this month for the continuation of the matter.