The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja, has ordered the Nigerian police to either release or charge Glory Okorie, an alleged spy for the Eastern Security Network (ESN).
The ESN is the military wing of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The 21-year-old Miss Okolie was arrested by the operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), a tactical unit of the police, on June 17, 2021 in Imo State and subsequently transferred to Abuja.
Having been incarcerated since her arrest, the suspect has been in custody for 75 days as of Tuesday.
The judge, Sylvester Oriji, had on Friday, August 27, 2021, given the police an ultimatum to either charge her to court on or before 31, 2021, or grant her bail.
Instead of complying with the order, the police authorities, on Tuesday, approached the court, urging Mr Oriji to reverse his earlier ruling on the matter.
The judge, after listening to the police, asked them to comply with the earlier order.
Mr Oriji explained that he could no longer preside over the matter because the case file had been returned to the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court for reassignment to another judge.
Meanwhile, the suspect’s lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhein, while reacting to the police’s attempt to upturn Miss Okolie’s release in his absence, wondered why the legal department of the police would engage in a “back-door and shoddy” courtroom practice.
The lawyer lauded the judge for not cowering to the “antics of the police”, adding that the police authorities have no choice but to comply with the order and set his client free.
Mr Ihensekhein had filed an application on August 24, specifically, suing the Inspector General of Police, Tunde Disu, a deputy commissioner of police heading the IRT, and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), as the respondents.
He had urged the court to order the release of Miss Okorie on bail from unlawful incarceration by the police for nearly three months.
In his ruling, the judge ordered the respondents – police authorities – to charge her to court on or before August 31, 2021, should their be any case against her.
In the alternative to the order directing the police to charge the suspect, the court ordered the respondents to release Miss Okorie on bail in the sum of N2million with a surety.
Mr Oriji said the surety must be a civil servant not less than Grade Level 12 in the federal civil service.
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