A Magistrate Court sitting in Port Harcourt has granted bail to two Caverton Helicopters pilots, Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari.
The duo who were arrested for violating the Executive Order of the Rivers State Governor issued to checkmate the spread of coronavirus in the State.
The Magistrate Court also granted bail to the ten passengers of Carveton Helicopters who were flown into Rivers State by the two pilots.
Chief Magistrate D.D . Ihua-Maduenyi granted bail to the two pilots after hearing the motion abridging the time for the bail application filed by their counsel, Nwokedi Ibe.
The bail application was not opposed by the prosecution council, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, the Attorney-General of the state.
Adangor emphasized that Rivers State Government was not interested in the persecution of the defendants, hence it did not oppose the bail application, adding that the State Government is only interested in prosecuting the defendants in line with the law.
He said that the defendants will be released as soon as they perfect their bail.
The Chief Magistrate while granting the pilots bail, said the Defendants must present a surety who must be a management staff of Carveton Helicopters.
The Court further ruled that the surety must own a landed property in Port Harcourt and the surety must not fail to bring the pilots to court during trials, adding that the surety will have to sign a bail bond of N1million each for the two pilots.
The Chief Magistrate adjourned the matter to May 19, 2020 for trial.
The 10 passengers who were granted bail include:
- Nwogu Chibuna ‘M’, Aged 39YRS
Peter Michael ‘M’ Aged 43YRS
Ajagba Iheayni ‘M’ Aged 35YRS
Ekperewechi Oguguo ‘M’Aged 43YRS
Nsikan Pius ‘M’ Aged 38YRS
Abanobi Chinoso ‘M’Aged 27YRS
Udoh Hagan ‘M’Aged 28YRS
Okachukwu Chuks ‘M’ Aged 41YRS
Goddy Chukwu ‘M’Aged 42YRS
Oomerurike Chijioke ‘M’Aged 43YRS
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, and must bring the accused persons to court for 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 it is important for there to be mutual respect between the Federal and State Governments.
“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.
Recalled that on April 7, a Port Harcourt Chief Magistrate Court remanded the two pilots of Carveton Helicopters, Samuel Ugorji and Samuel Buhari in prison custody, for allegedly, intentionally disobeying the Executive Order issued by the Rivers State Governor aimed at checking the spread of coronavirus in the state.
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.