By NewsCritic Reporters
The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has granted bail to the church of satan founder, Ifekwe Udo and 17 others arrested by the Police following the riot at Ebem Ohafia during which government properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed by irate youths.
Some youths of Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State went on rampage following the shooting and killing of a young trader in the area by the Police.
Justice E Asiago, in his ruling said the defendant applicants bail followed the motion for their release by their counsel. The judge held that since the prosecution team led by Barrister S.A Ofoegbu did not object to the application for bail, that the defendants are presumed innocence until proven guilty.
He held that the offence for which the accused are standing trial are bail-able offences, that he hereby grants them bail in the sum of N1,000,000 with two sureties each, one of which must be a traditional ruler or recognised chief and a senior civil servant.
The court also held that the sureties must have verifiable address, saying that the bail is compartmentalise according to their villages.
Earlier, the prosecution witness, S.A Ofoegbu said that the interest is not to punish the defendants, but to ensure they appear for trial. Counsel to the church of satan founder, Ibeka Esq, argued before the ruling following the submission of the prosecuting counsel demanding stringent conditions to be applied in granting the 3rd accused bail, that there is lingering acrimony in Ebem Ohafia where the church is located.
He posited that because of sentiments over the incident that no traditional ruler would like to stand surety for Ifekwe, the man who has church of satan.
But the judge held that he would not lower the standard because of one man. The case was adjourned till 13th October 2020 for trial.
The Assemblies of light Bearer Greater Church of Lucifer, popularly known as the Church of Satan was destroyed and its founder arrested. This was after some youths were arrested over the riot the led to the burning of police station and government properties in Ohafia. Both the church of Lucifer founder and the rioting youths have been granted bail today.