For allegedly exposing the secret property of Kogi state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, a 32-year-old civil servant, Mr. Johnson Musa, was on Friday dragged to a Lokoja Chief Magistrate.
On arraignment before Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court II, Musa, of Odu-Anana in Dekina local government area of the state was alleged to have taken the aerial pictures of the governor’s Abuja residence with a drone camera and posted it on social media.
He was said to have posted the pictures with a caption: ‘This building is owned by an individual in Kogi where hunger is the first name, less than one year.’
According to the prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Abaji, Senior Legal Officer with the state Ministry of Justice, Musa was arrested on August 3 by men of the State Security Service (SSS), Kogi state command, on intelligence report.
He said that the intelligence report and analysis of the accused person’s Samsung Galaxy S6 and Techno Phantom 6 phones with GSM numbers 08175444450 and 08064494667 revealed that he threatened and exposed the residence of the governor.
The prosecuting counsel said, “Governor Yahaya Bello and family have been put into threat and harm to their property,” and therefore urged the court to take cognizance of the offence of cyber stalking against the accused.
Counsel to the defendant, Williams Aliwo of Crystal Chambers, orally applied for his bail in line with section 36(5) of the constitution and section 341(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Aliwo submitted that any order to remand the accused in prison custody would amount to punishing him ahead of the prove of his guilt adding that the accused would not jump bail, escape justice and would neither commit same or any other offence and would abide by the bail conditions if granted.
The application was opposed by Abaji on the ground that investigation into the matter was on-going aside the fact that the penalty attached to the offence was 10 years imprisonment or option of minimum of N25 million fine upon conviction.
The Chief Magistrate, Alhassan Husaini said by virtue of Section 36(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the presumption of innocence of the accused was constitutionally guaranteed.
He therefore granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum adding that the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
Justice Husaini, to allay the fears of the prosecution counsel over the inconclusive investigation, ordered that a register of attendance be opened at the DSS office for the accused to report on Monday and Thursday and adjourned the case to August 17, for further mention.