Court to rule on bail application of 10 suspected pirates

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The Federal High Court in Lagos has fixed July 28 to rule on the bail application brought by 10 suspects facing trial for the hijacking of a fishing vessel, named FV Hai Lu Feng II, belonging to Haina Fishing Company. Justice Ayokunle Faji fixed the date for ruling after listening to their lawyers who had filed separate bail applications for the defendants.

In their applications for bail, the defendants told the court that since investigations have been concluded, there was no risk of them tampering with evidence or compromising witnesses. They particularly drew the court’s attention to the fact that three out of the four witnesses listed by the prosecution had already testified. The lawyers also pointed out that the defendants had no previous criminal record.

The prosecution counsel, Kehinde Bode-Ayeni, from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, opposed the request for bail. Bode-Ayeni filed a 14-page counter-affidavit and a written address, urging the court to refuse the bail applications and instead give the case accelerated hearing.

After listening to both parties, the presiding judge adjourned the hearing for the application of bail.

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