A Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos on Friday admitted Augustine Gomerep, a man accused of killing his wife to bail in the sum of N500, 000, following failure of the police to arraign or file charges against him in a competent law court two months after his arrest.
Justice Ishaku Kunda of the State High Court, gave the order while ruling on a bail application brought before him by Gomerep against the police.
Kunda said the applicant brought the bail application in pursuance to section 176(1) of criminal Justice law of Plateau and Sections 35 and 36 of the Constitution of Federal of Nigeria over his continuous detention for almost two months without being charged to Court.
“The police claimed in their counter affidavit to the applicant’s bail application that he (Gomerep) killed his wife. They (police) also claimed that the applicant was in the habit of always beating his wife which resulted in her frailness, sickness and eventual death.
“But the burden of proof rest on he who alleges, Unfortunately the respondents (police) claimed they are yet to conclude investigations into the alleged culpable homicide labeled against the applicant.
“The general rule is that such an accused should be brought before a competent court of law and tried to prove his culpability. Unfortunately it’s not so in this case as the only reason advanced by respondents is that they are still investigating the matter.
“I have looked into motions of both sides and wonder why almost two months after the arrest of the applicant, investigation into the matter is yet to be concluded. I hereby admit the applicant to bail pending his arraignment. The surety must be a village head,” Kunda declared.
Gomerep, through his Counsel, D.A. Dalong filed an application for bail before Justice Kunda challenging his continuous detention without any charge against him before a competent law Court.
He claimed he had a misunderstanding with his wife in February but that on April 5, she left their matrimonial home for her parents house at Vel, in Pankshin local government of Plateau.
He said that she later took ill and was treated in a hospital in Pankshin, where she allegedly died on May 5 and was buried in her parent’s residents.
He said soon after his wife’s death her parents reported him to the office of Civil Defence in Pankshin and he was arrested on May 10 on the ground that he killed his wife.
He said he was later handed over to the Pankshin Divisional police Headquarters on May 12 where he was transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and intelligence Department (SCIID), Jos, where is being detained.
In his bail application, he promised not to interfere with the police investigation if any and would not jump bail and will always make himself available in court or in police station if need be.
According to him, if granted bail it would serve the interest of Justice.
The police had through their Counsel, O.S. Okpuru, objected to the bail application on the ground that they were still investigating the circumstance that led to the death of the woman and afraid that the applicant would tamper with evidences and witnesses.