50 FUNAAB students arraigned for violent protest, get bail
Fifty of the students of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), who were arrested for allegedly taking part in the violence protest on Thursday, were yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate Court I sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The students, who were brought to court in many Police vehicles, were arraigned on six-count charge, ranging from arson, taking part in an unlawful assembly, riot and malicious damage of properties, including a Toyota Camry saloon car belonging to one Police officer.
They were also alleged to have “willfully and unlawfully set fire on Osiele Police Station, property of Nigeria Police Force” and “willfully and unlawfully destroyed or damaged louvers, property of Divine Height Bible Church, Kotopo, Abeokuta.”
The Police prosecutors, Sunday Eigbejiale and Emmanuel Kayode, told the court that the offences were committed at Camp Area of Abeokuta in the Abeokuta Magistrate District and were punishable under Section 516(a), 443(a), 70, 71 and 451 of Criminal Code Laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2006.
All the accused persons, who were represented by nine Counsel, pleaded not guilty to the offences.
One of the Counsel, Bunmi Adelabu, presented a bail applications before Magistrate Sofowora Oriyomi, arguing that the accused persons are presumed innocent until otherwise proven by the court.
But the prosecutors opposed the bail applications.
Delivering ruling on the application, Magistrate Sofowora admitted the accused persons to bail of N100, 000 each, with two sureties in the like sum.
One of the sureties, according to the court, who must be a guardian or parent of the accused person and resident in Abeokuta, depose to affidavit of means, while each of them must be a regular taxpayers with evidence of tax payment in the last one year.
Magistrate Sofowora also ruled that two passport-size photograph each of the sureties and the accused person be attached to the bail bond, while the addresses of the sureties should be verified by the court orderly.
She adjourned the case till Thursday, September 29.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued when one of the accused persons slumped as they were being led into the waiting ‘Black Maria’ and was quickly rushed to the General Hospital in Ijaye, where he was revived.
Students of the institution went on rampage for over eight hours on Thursday to protest the incessant attacks by armed robbers on hostels around the campus.
The initial peaceful protest soon turned violent, as no fewer than four vehicles were burnt, while several others were damaged.
A student and two Police officers were seriously injured in the riot.