Court remands lone protester in Kuje for 1 month for medical observation

by Edith Nwapi


A Magistrates’ Court in  Zuba, Abuja, on Thursday remanded the lone anti-Tinubu protester, Obiajulu Uja, in Kuje correctional centre for one month to ascertain his mental condition.

Uja debarked from Abuja-Lagos bound Ibom flight for making sensitive statement about President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu,

Ruling in the application bail, Senior Magistrate Mohammed Ismail held that from the report signed by Dr Segun Soyombo of the National Hospital, Abuja, he is of the opinion that the defendant cannot stand trial in his current state of mind.

The court had earlier ordered for a medical test on Uja to determine his mental state,

The magistrate therefore invoked the provisions of Section 278(3)(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, to order Uja’s remand for a period not more than one month.

He held that the defendant must be remanded in a suitable place with requisite medical facility where he would be managed for one month .

The senior magistrate further ordered that the medical personnel to handle Uja’s treatment should do so at the expense of the Federal Government of Nigeria,

He held that the personnel should provide a report on his observation of the defendant to the court.

Senior Magistrate Ismail said that he had personally visited the Kuje facility and inspected its medical facility and he was satisfied that there were requisite facility needed for Uja’s treatment there.

Uja prayed the court to allow him speak .

Uja told the court that remanding him for a month in Kuje meant that the court wanted to kill him.

“I have a sickness that no medical doctor can cure and as such, I want  to go to my village to consult a herbal doctor,” he said.

Senior Magistrate Ismail adjourned the case until May 23 for report.

The court had April 11 declined to grant Uja bail on the grounds that the exhibits attached to the bail application filed by his counsel did not say he was unfit to face trial but rather indicated he was of unsound mind.

Senior Magistrate Ismail held that though the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can, however, can deprive a person their liberty based on certain conditions.

He subsequently ordered that Uja be taken to a government hospital where his mental capacity shall be ascertained.

Uja was arraigned before the court for breach of public peace by the police on April 3 in a charge marked CR/08/23.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him. (NAN )