A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday turned down the bail application filed Dr. Nazeef Yunus, a lecturer in the Department of Islamic Studies, Kogi State University, who is facing trial for allegedly being a member of the Boko Haram sect.
The court also refused bail to a businessman Alhaji Salami Abdullahi, and Umar Musa, who are being tried alongside the lecturer.
The three suspects were alleged to be the leaders of a Boko Haram cell in Kogi State.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole who presided over the court refused their bail applications in a ruling on Friday.
The judge hinged the refusal to admit the suspects to bail on the heinous activities of the dreaded terrorist sect in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. Justice Kolawole also condemned the recent killing of students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State by members of the Boko Haram.
He said the court would fall short of its responsibility to dispense justice if it pretends that all is well in the country.
While noting that the court retains its discretion to grant bail, Justice Kolawole stated that the court was guided in exercising such discretion by the nature of the charge, the severity of punishment and the character of evidence, as well as the criminal record of the accused persons.
Another factor that was considered by the judge in refusing the bail application was the likelihood or repetition of the offence.
The judge said “I am a bit constrained that granting the accused persons bail will be very strict, but to do this, will lead to the court imposing outlandish bail conditions.”
He continued that “it is the severity of the crime that matters, and one is hesitant to grant bail. This may not be a period for the court to embark on fanciful and sterile judicial analysis so that the court cannot send out wrong signals.”
Abdullahi, the 2nd accused person, had asked the court to grant him bail to enable him to treat an ailment, but Justice Kolawole ruled that the said health challenge could be handled by a clinic in the prison as long as he had regular access to medical attention.
The trial of the accused persons will commence on March 18.