BY BENJAMIN OMOIKE
A Lagos State judge, Justice Modupe Nicole-Clay, has reserved ruling seeking the release of an auto dealer, Ikechukwu Ogbonna accused of causing the death of his wife, Abimbola Martins Ogbonna, in a fire incident.
The applicant/defendant sought to get a temporary reprieve from prison custody after approaching a court in Lagos on Thursday.
Ogbonna was earlier remanded by an Ebute-Metta Magistrate court over a manslaughter charge slammed on him by Lagos State Government following the death of his wife at their Lekki residence last October.
He sought the bail pending his formal arraignment before a yet-to-be assigned judge, in order to care for his children.
While moving the application for bail on his behalf, the counsel to the applicant, Victor Ogude (SAN), prayed the court to grant his client bail to enable him support his children financially.
Ogunde (SAN) claimed that the charge of manslaughter was bailable, therefore his client should be release from remand.
In an affidavit in support of the bail request deposed to by Ogbonna’s brother, Ifeanyi Elvis Ogbonna, he said the applicant was emotionally and psychological drained in custody without being arraigned.
Opposing the bail application, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Dr. Babajide Martins opposed the application, stating that Mr. Ogbonna was a flight risk and could flee from justice if granted bail based on the severity of the punishment for the offence.
“It is trite that offences that attract capital punishment are ordinarily not bailable except on special and compelling circumstances of a life threatening ailment.”
Dr. Martins also argued that applicant’s counsel has not shown any compelling reason why his client should be admitted to bail.
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After listening to the arguments by both counsel, Justice Nicole-Clay adjourned to February 23, 2023 to deliver a ruling.
If convicted for manslaughter, he risks a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
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