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COVID-19: Court grants Islamic cleric, 3 others bail for flouting directive on religious gatherings

Father remanded in prison custody for defiling teenage daughters at knifepoint

A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna State, Monday granted a cleric, Muhammad Umar, who allegedly violated the state government’s restriction order on COVID-19, bail in the sum of N1 million.

Umar was arraigned by the state government alongside three others for criminal conspiracy and disobedience to the law.

The other defendants are – Yusuf Hamza, Muhammad Ubale and Auwal Shuaibu.

Magistrate Ibrahim Musa also granted Hamza, Ubale and Shuaibu bail in the sum of N1 million each.

The Magistrate ordered the defendants to produce two reliable sureties each who must be residents of Kaduna.

He said: “I am remanding you in police custody instead of the correctional centre because of the COVID-19 virus pending fulfillment of your bail conditions.

“The sureties must also be government workers who are not below level 14 and must have valid identification and bank account which must have at least have up to N1 million.”

Earlier, the Director of Public Prosecution in the state, Bayero Dari, said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 59 and 115 of the Kaduna State criminal code law.

He said the case was transferred to the Kaduna Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) by the divisional police officer (DPO) of Kawo, Kaduna, on March 29.

“On March 27, information was received that on the same day the chief imam of Unguan Kanawa, Kaduna, Malam Muhammad Umar, led the other three defendants and 17 other people for Zuhur (Second daily prayer) prayers.

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He prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him to provide witnesses.

In his plea, counsel to the defendants, Abdulbasit Sulaiman, prayed the court to grant bail to his clients on liberal terms.

“I humbly apply that my clients be granted bail on liberal terms under sections 35, 36 (5) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“We promise they will be of good behaviors and would not interfere in the investigation processes. It would be harmful to them to be sent to correctional centres at this critical time,” Sulaiman said.

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