Court Grants Boat Merchant Bail After 4 Months In Navy’s Custody

A boat merchant, Malik Olalekan, who was allegedly detained by the navy for over four months without charges, was on Friday granted N3 million bail by a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Justice Sule Hassan, who is sitting as vacation judge, granted Olalekan the bail, following a motion exparte by his lawyer, Mr McAnthony Aikharialea, seeking enforcement of his fundamental rights.

Joined as respondents in the suit are Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ibas and Aminu Goni, Officer-in-Charge of Atlas Cove Naval Post.

In the motion marked FHC/L/CS/1584/18, Aikharialea had sought an order of court, granting the applicant bail forthwith, pending his arraignment.

In the supporting affidavit, Aikharialea said that the boat merchant was arrested on Aug. 29, 2018, at Atlas Cove Naval Anchorage Station where he had gone to search for his missing boats.

He said that the navy officers later searched Olalekan’s offices at Tapa-Bay at the Atlas Cove where they seized N3.5 million which the boat merchant had collected from his numerous customers.

Moving his application, Aikharialea informed the court that the same court, had on Oct. 25, 2018, issued an order for production of the applicant in court.

He said that the order was served both in the Lagos and Abuja offices of the Nigerian Navy, adding that same had not been complied with till date.

In granting the bail application, Justice Hassan held that the court’s record showed that the respondent were aware of the matter and were served with hearing notices.

The vacation judge, therefore, granted Olalekan N3 million bail with one surety in like sum.

He held that the surety must be owner of a landed property within the court’s jurisdiction, or, a public servant with Lagos State or Federal government, not below Grade Level 14.

The matter has been adjourned until Jan. 17, for hearing of the substantive suit.