A Zuba Magistrate Court in Abuja on Tuesday denied bail to one Obiajulu Uja, who protested against the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) while onboard an Ibom Air Abuja-Lagos bound flight.
Uja, who was evacuated from the plane by airport security officers for delaying the flight for over an hour following his protest, had filed an application for bail through his counsel, Barr. Ejike Ugwu.
However, in Tuesday’s proceeding, Uja’s application was dismissed by Senior Magistrate Mohammed Abdulazeez Ismail on the ground that the application was premature.
According to Ismail, the exhibits attached to the application did not say the defendant was unfit for trial but that he was of unsound mind.
Also, he held that while the constitution guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can deprive a person of their liberty based on health grounds.
And citing the provisions of Section 35(1)(e) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 278 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, Ismail held that Uja cannot be granted bail.
The Magistrate held that where the mental capacity of a defendant is an issue, the court has the duty to ascertain the medical situation of such defendant.
He subsequently turned down the bail application and ordered that Uja be held at the Kuje Correctional Centre of Nigerian Correctional Service.
The case has been adjourned until April 20, 2023.