A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has granted bail to a suspected land grabber, Clement Anele, who was arrested by the police for the alleged murder of one Udochukwu Egege.
Delivering his judgement on the bail application for Clement and two other accused, Nkemakolam Nwanuo and Sunny Anele, the presiding judge, Justice C. Nwogu, said Clement would be granted bail on health grounds.
Clement, suspected to be the leader of the gang that murdered Egege, is a one-legged amputee who was arraigned on May 10, 2010. He pleaded not guilty after being charged with criminal conspiracy and murder.
He was granted bail in the sum of N5m with a surety, who must be a traditional ruler from the suspect’s local government area (Etche).
However, Justice Nwogu dismissed the bail application for Sunny and Nwanuo, maintaining that since it was a murder case, the prayers for their bail were not sufficient enough for the court to grant them bail.
The judge reasoned that with the medical report tendered, Anele, who was the first defendant in the matter, deserved to be granted bail.
Nwanuo and Sunny were subsequently remanded in custody, while the matter was adjourned till November 7, 2018, for hearing.
Late Egege had bought a piece of land in Igbo-Etche, in the Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, but did not have access to the property due to an alleged dishonest conduct of the land vendors.
It was alleged that the late Egege was later lured into a bush by his alleged killers on November 11, 2016.
The victim was shot several times at close range, leaving him in a pool of blood.
Though the wife of the deceased, Mrs Ursula Egege, had reported the matter to the police, and alleged that the police were compromised as the case was almost abandoned.
But the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, ordered the arrest of all the suspects in the murder case after The PUNCH’s publication of August 7, 2017 – Police took money to investigate my husband’s murder –Widow.
Clement’s widow had narrated how the police in Rivers State ignored investigation after allegedly extorting money from her.