Ibom Air: Court denies anti-Tinubu protester Obiajulu Uja bail

Ibom Air passenger kicked out of Lagos-bound flight

A Zuba Magistrate Court in Abuja on Tuesday declined to grant bail to Obiajulu Uja who protested against the swearing-in of President-elect Bola Tinubu.  

Mr Uja created a scene on March 31 by screaming in an Ibom Air aircraft that Tinubu must not be sworn in as president on May 29.

He was carried off the Abuja to Lagos aircraft by airport authorities and security officials attached to the airline after delaying the flight’s take-off. Uja was subsequently arraigned for allegedly threatening violence and causing a breach of peace.

He filed an application for bail through his counsel, Ejike Ugwu. However, Senior Magistrate Mohammed Ismail dismissed the application, holding that the application was premature.

He held that the exhibits attached to the application did not say the defendant was unfit for trial but rather indicated he was of unsound mind.

The magistrate also held that while the constitution guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can deprive a person of their liberty based on health grounds.

He 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.

The magistrate added that the exhibits attached to Uja’s bail application raised the issue of his medical capacity.

He subsequently turned down the bail application and ordered that Uja be held at the Kuje Correctional Centre of Nigerian Correctional Service.

Magistrate Ismail further ordered the head of the centre to take the defendant to a government hospital to ascertain his mental capacity.

He adjourned until April 20 for report and hearing.