Former Divisional Police Officer, DPO, of Pen Cinema, Agege, Mr. Segun Fabunmi, accused of shooting a youth to death during protests against fuel subsidy removal on January 9, last year has been granted bail by Justice Olabisi Akinlade of an Ikeja High Court.
Fabunmi was accused of killing a middle aged man, Adedamola Daramola, during the protests. He was arraigned for murder on May 5, 2013.
While granting him bail due to his poor health, Justice Akinlade imposed a N250m bail condition with two sureties in like sum. She said the two sureties must be resident in Lagos and have three years tax clearance.
Akinlade added that one of them must have landed property worth N100 million while the other must be a director in either the state or federal civil service.
The trial judge held that based on medical evidence before the court, it was incumbent on her to grant the accused bail, for him to have access to special medical attention which he would not likely get in prison if denied bail.
In the charge, Fabunmi was also accused of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm on Alimi Abubakar, Egbujor Samuel and Chizorba Odoh.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In her ruling, the judge said that a medical report by the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH which revealed that the accused was suffering from renal (kidney) failure, was enough ground to grant him bail.
“What is important in granting bail is for a defendant to place sufficient material before the court for it to exercise its discretion in his favour.
“It is when a defendant has done this that the burden of proof will shift to the prosecution, who will have to show cause why the defendant should not be granted bail. I am satisfied that the defendant has provided sufficient materials before me.”
The court added that the accused must deposit his travelling passport with the chief registrar of the court, who will also appoint a police officer to verify the documents to be tendered by the accused.
She also ordered that the police officer appointed by the chief registrar must swear to an affidavit of verification after completing the exercise.
She barred Fabunmi from travelling abroad until the final determination of his trial.
Arguing against the bail, the Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan urged the court to deny bail.
She argued that due to the nature of the alleged offences and severity of the punishment (death penalty) if convicted, the accused was likely to escape from trial if granted bail.
She also argued that, as a former police officer, Fabunmi was in a position to influence witnesses if granted bail.
His counsel, Mr. George Oguntade, SAN, however insisted that his client was ready to face trial.
The court has fixed July 16, 2013 for the commencement of trial .