Parents of the 58 suspected cult members arraigned before the Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa, and some Hausa indigenes have staged a protest against the prosecution of the suspects.
The Police had on Friday arraigned the suspects on two counts of conspiracy and membership of a cult group in the state.
No fewer than 106 suspects, including four minors, were arrested by the police last week during a raid of some black spots in the state capital.
However, 58 of them were charged to court.
The presiding judge, Justice Naiyi Aganaba, in his ruling on bail application after listening to the arguments of the defendants’ lawyers and the concession by the Police prosecution counsel, James Amate, granted bail to the suspects in the sum of N100, 000 each.
Aganaba also ruled that the suspects must show a proof of innocence and non-membership of the secret cult.
The judge also said that sureties that would sign the bail bond must be senior civil servants from Grade Level 7 and above, who must be resident in Yenagoa.
Justice Aganaba adjourned the case until October 20, 2016 for further hearing.
The angry parents of the arraigned suspects alleged that those arraigned were illegally arrested and innocent of the charges against them.
A parent, who identified himself as Kelvin, said his son was arrested a few metres away from their home while on an errand to buy bread for the family.
“When I accosted the policemen after I heard a scream for help by my son, they threatened to shoot me. They asked me what my son was doing outside after 8pm,” Kelvin claimed.
A woman, who claimed to be the wife of one of the suspects, said her husband was arrested a few minutes after concluding their new-born baby’s dedication at home.
The woman, who craved anonymity, said, “He (my husband) was attending to a guest at the bus stop when he was arrested.
“All pleas and explanation fell on deaf ears. How do I get money to bail him? We have spent a lot of money on hospital bills for the baby’s delivery and dedication.”
Source: The Punch