ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Zuba Magistrates’ Court in Abuja has remanded anti-Tinubu protester Obiajulu Uja in Kuje Prison custody for one month to ascertain his mental condition.
Mr. Uja was removed from an Abuja-Lagos bound Ibom flight for making a sensitive statement about President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Ruling in the application for bail, senior magistrate Mohammed Ismail held that from the report signed by Segun Soyombo of the National Hospital, Abuja, he believed that the defendant could not stand trial in his current state of mind.
The court had ordered a medical test on Mr. Uja to determine his mental state.
The magistrate, therefore, invoked the provisions of section 278(3)(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, to order Mr Uja’s remand for a period not more than one month.
He held that the defendant must be remanded in a suitable place with the requisite medical facility to manage him for one month.
The magistrate further ordered that the medical personnel handling Mr Uja’s treatment should do so at the federal government’s expense.
Mr. Ismail held that the personnel should report his observation of the defendant to the court, adding that he had personally visited the Kuje Prison and inspected its medical amenity with satisfaction that there are requisite facilities needed for Mr. Uja’s treatment.
Mr. Uja prayed the court to allow him to speak.
Mr. Uja told the court that remanding him for a month in Kuje meant that the court wanted to kill him.
“I have a sickness that no medical doctor can cure, and as such, I want to go to my village to consult a herbal doctor,” said Mr. Uja.
The magistrate adjourned the case until 23 May for a report.
The court, on 11 April, declined to grant Mr Uja bail because the exhibits attached to the bail application filed by his counsel did not say he was unfit to face trial but indicated he was of unsound mind.
Mr. Ismail held that though the 1999 Constitution (as amended) guarantees every person’s liberty, a court can deprive a person of their liberty based on certain conditions.
He subsequently ordered Mr. Uja to be taken to a government hospital to evaluate his mental capacity.
Mr. Uja was charged with breach of public peace by the police on 3 April in a charge marked CR/08/23.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him.