The Nigeria Police Force has finally arraigned in court 72-year-old journalist, Tom Uhia, after # he was illegally held for 30 days in secret detention.
This came after immense pressure from media rights group, Nigeria Union of Journalists and various human rights groups across the country.
Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine, was arrested on the orders of Minister of State for Power, Jedy Agba, over a publication against him in July 2020.
The police illegally arrested and detained Uhia while also barring him from seeing his lawyer and doctor.
When he was arraigned in court on Monday, the police filed a 15-count charge bothering on defamation and injurious falsehood before an FCT High Court in Gudu District, Abuja.
Uhia’s lead counsel, Paul Harris Ogbole (SAN), argued for his bail.
The bail application was objected to by the prosecuting counsel through an oral application.
Ogbole argued that the grounds being canvassed by the prosecuting counsel were bailable.
He also faulted the inability of the prosecutors to file an objection to the bail application, nine days after it was filed.
Presiding judge, Justice A.B. Mohammed, granted Uhia bail to the tune of N2m and asked for a level 15 officer with the federal civil or public service as surety.
Justice Mohammed said, “The prosecuting counsel has not shown enough reason why the defendant should not be granted bail.”
The matter was adjourned until December 10, 2020 for hearing.
Uhia’s lawyer had filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit against Agba, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Anthony Ogbizi, who is said to be the uncle of the minister and others before Justice Peter Affen at an FCT High Court, Maitama.
In the suit, Uhia is demanding N110m for severally abusing his rights by keeping him for one month in secret detention without trial even after meeting bail conditions.
The proceeding was, however, stalled due to absence of the judge, hence, a new date of 10th November, 2020.
Meanwhile, the enforcement of human rights suit filed against the minister and the police comes up on Tuesday.