Justice Kudirat Akano of the Osun High Court sitting in Osogbo on Friday granted bail to Ademola Ademiluyi and five other suspects arrested in connection with the March 8 Ile-Ife crisis which claimed 46 lives.
Mr. Ademiluyi, the Alapoje of Apoje, as well as Taiwo Fakuajo, Akeem Eluwole, Bamidele Elurisanmi, Jimoh Sakiru and Daniel Olanrewaju were granted bail in the sum of N5 million each with two sureties.
She said one of the sureties must be a monarch or civil servant on Grade Level 14 and resident in the state.
The judge added that the other surety must be a blood relation of the accused.
She also said: “The main objective or function of bail is to ensure the presence of the accused persons in court during trial.
“Bail to an accused during trial, particularly for a capital offence, is based on grace.
“Ordinarily, granting bail rests solely on the discretion of the court, especially on the discretion of the judge.
” I hereby adjourn the case till July 13 for further trial.’’
Two witnesses had earlier testified at the commencement of trial on Wednesday.
They included Mallami Nasri, Abubarka Mutari and a police investigator in the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector General of Police, Akinlabi Ogundile.
During Friday’s proceedings, Mr. Ogundile, who was led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Simon Lough, said more than 100 houses and shops were burnt during the crisis.
“I sighted 100 houses and shops burnt during the clash.
“I saw 13 burnt vehicles and six motorcycles while myself and my team also saw 46 dead people.
“We took the bodies of the 46 to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife,’’ he said.
Mr. Akinlabi also told the court that some incriminating materials were recovered from the accused persons.
He said a green wheel barrow, three axes, a knife, saw machine and four motorcycles were recovered from the suspects.
The photographs of the 46 corpses presented by Akinlabi were, however, rejected by the judge.
Mr. Akano said the photographs were rejected because they lacked serial numbers.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the accused were arraigned on April 28 on a 14-count charge to which they pleaded not guilty.
The defence counsel, Muritala Olawoyin, had applied for the bail of the suspects on liberal terms.
But Mr. Akano rejected the oral application for bail, directing the defence counsel to provide a formal bail application for all the accused persons.
She ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till June 14, 15 and 16.