An Anambra High Court sitting in Awka on Wednesday ordered the immediate release of one Mr Chukwuemeka Ekwueme, a Real Estate Developer who has been detained at the Zone 13 Headquarters, Ukpo, Anambra since December 14.
The order followed an application for bail by Alex Ejesieme (SAN), counsel to the applicant in Suit no. A/Misc 461/2022 and Motion No.A /2050m/2022.
Defendants in the matter are Inspector General of Police, AIG Abutu Yaro in charge of Zone 13, Nkiru Nwode, PRO Zone 13, and Emmanuel Awah, office of the PRO Zone 13.
Ejesieme said Ekwueme, the CEO of S. Bigman Multi Biz Concept, a real estate company was arrested and detained in relation to his move to develop lands around the Oba International Airport, Idemili South Local Government Area.
He said the Police arrested him based on a petition by the community, but held him in detention ever since without charging him of any offence.
The senior lawyer said the Police was already acting in contempt of court as an order of a Magistrate Courts obtained at Ugbenu in Awka North LGA with which they effected the arrest had been voided by the same court through an order dated December 20.
Ejesieme who described the situation as a draconian policing prayed the court to admit the applicant on bail pending the conclusion of investigation of the crime he allegedly committed.
He also sought an order for substituted service on all applicants’ processes and subsequent processes in the suit on the respondents by serving the same on the Officer in Charge of Legal Department, Zone 13 Headquarters, Ukpo.
In his ruling, Justice D. A. Onyefulu, ordered the Police to release the applicant on bail with the sum of N5 million and a surety resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
The judge also ordered the applicant not to interfere with the police investigation.
“The Court hereby admits the applicant to bail pending the conclusion of investigation in the sum of N5 Million with one surety in the like sum, surety to be recommended by counsel and attach his NIN for proper identification and live within this state.
“The court also orders service of all the processes in this suit on the Respondents as prayed in the 3rd
relief sought,” he said.
The matter was adjourned to 4th January, 2023 for the motion on notice to be heard.