The immediate release of Mr. Chukwuemeka Ekwueme, a real estate developer who has been held at the Zone 13 Headquarters in Ukpo, Anambra since December 14, was mandated by an Anambra High Court sitting in Awka on Wednesday.
The decision was made in response to a bail application made by Alex Ejesieme (SAN), the applicant’s attorney in Suit No. Motion No. A /2050m/2022 and A/Misc 461/2022.
The Inspector General of Police, AIG Abutu Yaro, who oversees Zone 13, Nkiru Nwode, the PRO for Zone 13, and Emmanuel Awah, who works in the PRO’s office for Zone 13, are the defendants in this case.
Ejesieme cited Ekwueme as the S. Real estate developer Bigman Multi Biz Concept was apprehended and imprisoned in connection with his plans to build on land near the Oba International Airport in the Idemili South Local Government Area.
He claimed that after receiving a petition from the public, the police detained him but did not file any charges against him.
The senior attorney said that the police were already violating the law because the same magistrate court that issued the warrant for their arrest at Ugbenu in the Awka North LGA had since revoked it in an order dated December 20.
Ejesieme asked the court to allow the applicant on bail pending the conclusion of the inquiry into the offence he is claimed to have committed. He described the situation as one of draconian policing.
By serving the documents on the Officer in Charge of Legal Department, Zone 13 Headquarters, Ukpo, he also requested an order for substituted service on the applicant processes and following processes in the lawsuit on the respondents.
In his decision, Justice D. A. Onyefulu directed the Police to release the petitioner on bail in exchange for the sum of N5 million and the presence of a surety who was a resident of the court’s jurisdiction.
The petitioner was also told not to obstruct the police investigation by the judge.
The application is hereby granted bail by the court awaiting the outcome of the investigation in the amount of N5 million with one surety in the same amount, who must be nominated by the applicant’s attorney, attach his NIN for proper identification, and reside in this state.
In accordance with the third relief requested, “The court also orders service of all the processes in this suit on the Respondents as prayed in the 3rd relief sought,”
The matter was put on hold so that the move on notice may be heard on January 4, 2023.