A former employee at Inspiration FM, Ibukun Orebiyi, has petitioned the Chief Judge of Oyo State over the bail conditions slammed on him by a Chief Magistrate of the Ibadan Magisterial District in a legal dispute with his former employer.
Mr Orebiyi had sued the radio station in 2020 after he was laid off, despite being owed salaries.
Two years later, however, the station sued the former employee accusing him of stealing a hard disk while he was still under their employment.
According to the radio station, the hard disk has content worth N150 million.
Mr Orebiyi was arrested and arraigned before Chief Magistrate S.H Adebisi. He was granted bail of N100 million and two sureties in like some.
Petition to chief judge
A copy of Mr Orebiyi’s petition obtained by PREMIUM TIMES quoted the chief magistrate’s bail conditions to include “one of the sureties to the Defendant must be a developed landed property owner with registered and approved survey plan.
“The photograph of the surety must be taken with that building. The other surety must be taken with that building. The other surety must be at least a serving level 12 officer in the Government of Oyo State. The property owner must attach to the bail bond the tax receipts of the years 2020, 2021, and 2022.”
Mr Orebiyi is currently being held at the Abolongo correctional centre due to his inability to meet the bail conditions since June 21.
The petition, written by Danielle Chambers, who is representing Mr Orebiyi, accused him of siding with the claimant and condemning the defendant even before the commencement of trial.
It described the bail conditions slammed on its client as excessive, outrageous, and laughable.
Part of the petition read: “Our client’s former employer had threatened him that they would use their connection with the judiciary, particularly the Magistracy to ensure our client suffers and gets nothing when they have dealt with him, hence the institution of a criminal charge against our client.
“The threat against our client became glaring in our faces by the bail terms granted by the chief magistrate which gives room and equally no doubt in our minds and in the eyes of the public that our client’s former employer and the Chief Magistrate are in sync and are using their respective offices to pervert justice and punish our client with the Chief Magistrate perpetuating injustice by hiding under the veil of his exalted office.
“Respectfully sir, the bail terms are not only excessive, they are outrageous and cannot be easily perfected as our client seems to have been found guilty by the chief magistrate and condemned even before the commencement of trial.”
The petition added that the bail conditions would hinder Mr Orebiyi from preparing adequately for his defence, which is his fundamental right.
It also stated that there is no Level 12 civil servant that is worth N100 million, “not even the Chief Magistrate himself who is above the cadre.”
“With due respect sir, how will a Level 12 Officer of the Government of Oyo State be worth a N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira)? This term is not only laughable but an indictment on the chief magistrate himself, whose cadre is above the said level in the bail terms and does not worth the same.”
The petitioner pleaded with the chief judge to review the bail conditions and transfer the case to another magistrate as Mr Adebisi may have been compromised.
“It is, therefore, our humble prayer that the act of Mr S.H Adebisi (Chief Magistrate) be questioned and we believe that our client already being condemned by the outrageous and unachievable bail terms will not get justice before the chief magistrate, hence our prayer that the case file be transferred and given to another Magistrate who is upright and will serve the cause of Justice,” the petition read.
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