A Chief Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt, Ihua-Maduenyi, has granted bail to Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari, pilots with Carveton Helicopters who were accused of contravening the Executive Order of the Rivers State Governor issued to check the spread of coronavirus in the State.
Recall that on April 7, a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court remanded the two pilots in prison custody.
The Court presided over by Chief Magistrate D.D . Ihua-Maduenyi remanded the two pilots at the Delta Hotels , Old GRA, Port Harcourt after the Attorney-General of Rivers State, Professor Zaccheus Adangor applied for that order.
The Pilots who were arrested by the Rivers State Police Command were arraigned by the State Police Command via charge number:PMC/532C/2020.
Lawyer to the Carveton Pilots, Nwokedi Ibe moved a bail application seeking the court to grant the two pilots bail.
His bail application dated April 8, 2020, but filed on April 9, 2020 was supported by a 28-paragraph affidavit.
He granted the two pilots bail after hearing the bail application by their counsel.
In granting the two pilots bail, the court said that they must present a surety who must be a management staff of Carveton Helicopters and must own a landed property in Port Harcourt.
The surety must ensure that the two pilots attend trial and sign a bail bond of N1million each for the two pilots.
Earlier, the court granted a motion abridging the time for the bail application to be filed following a motion moved by Carveton Helicopters.
It deemed the bail application as properly filed. He adjourned the matter to May 19, 2020 for trial.
Attorney-General of Rivers State, Zaccheus Adangor, who appeared for the State did not oppose the bail application but urged the Court to set out bail conditions to ensure that the pilots attend their trial.
He said that the State Government is only interested in prosecuting the defendants in line with the law and that the defendants will be released as soon as they perfect their bail.
The Magistrate Court also granted bail to 10 passengers of Carveton Helicopters who were flown into Rivers State by the two pilots.
The 10 passengers who were granted bail include: Nwogu Chibuna aged 39, Peree Michael aged 43, Ajagbra Iheayni aged 35, Ekperewechi Oguguo aged 43, Nikan Pius aged 38, Abanobi Chinoso aged 27, Udoh Hagan aged 28, Okachukwu Chikd aged 4, Goddy Chukwu aged 42, and Oomerurike Chijioke aged 43.
For the passengers, the Court ruled that they should present two sureties who must be management staff of Carveton Helicopters.
The sureties are to sign bail bond of N500,000 for each of the passengers. They are to undertake to bring the accused persons trial.
They were arrested at the Air Force Base Port Harcourt after the Rivers State Police Command received intelligence on their illegal flight into the State.
Addressing journalists, Counsel to Carveton Helicopters, Nwokedi Ibe said that the Basic lesson in the interaction is that there must be mutual respect between the Federal and State Governments.
He said: “I want to use this medium to say there is need for mutual respect between the Federal Government and State Governments. The defendants have been granted bail. That is the essence of what happened in Court.”