Prison Inmate Development Initiative (PIDI-Nigeria) wish to condemned in its totality, the continued detention of the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alheri Construction Company, Pastor Engineer James Israel over bailable offence by the family of Late Chief Judge of Yobe state.
The relationship between the late Chief Judge of Yobe State, Hon. Justice Garba Musa Nabaruma and the suspect, Pastor Engineer James Isreal started in 2015 when the said Late Chief Judge of Yobe State came to Jos in company of one Engineer Gadzama and met the suspect in his workshop at Jos requesting for a construction of Fabricated POP (Plasta of Parish) because the suspect had a registered company to fabricate those machines.
From there, the suspect followed them to Damaturu and they went and inspect a business of oil mill in Damaturu owned by the said late Chief Judge and saw some obsolete machines which the late Chief Judge instructed him to remove them so that he can plant the new POP Machines. Based on their agreement, he constructed the POP Fabricated Machines, planted and tested them before handing over same to the late Chief Judge. The late Chief Judge brought another man to do the analysis of the machines and it was okey. Thereafter, due to a misunderstanding between them (which was orchestrated one Nafiu (a bo to the late Chief Judge), the late Chief Judge told the suspect to go back to Jos.
In the cause of his work, the late Chief Judge asked him to bring in two other companies who came to repair boiler and his generator that were vandalized by the Boko Haram insurgency.
So, all the staff of the two other companies stayed in a hotel which accommodation was paid by the suspect company outside their initial agreement but the late Chief Judge said he want them to form partnership to repair those obsolete machines and do oil mill in Jos.
They later moved the obsolete machines to Jos and in preparation to commenced work, the late Chief Jude employed 5 people in Jos in 2015 but the suspect was the one giving them allowances since it is a partnership.
Some of the machines are still in Jos. On 12 June 2020 when he heard that the man has died he came down to Damaturu from Jos to pay condolence to his family, none of the family knows him or aware of the business because everything was between him and the late Chief Judge.
On arrival, there was a committee set up for him to appear before them so he narrated the story to the Chairman of the committee, but before he conclude, the wife of the late CJ jumped up and started calling DSS and they came and he followed them to their office. After explaining things to them they released him on self-recognition and asked him to come the next day.
Dissatisfied with what the DSS did, she now called DIG and from there he was taken to the CID from there they took him to Chief Magistrate Court Grade 1 on the allegation of Criminal Breach of Trust, Cheating, Misappropriation, Theft and Impersonation wherein the Chief Magistrate imposed stringent conditions for bail so as to deny him bail which include producing two Permanent Secretaries resident within jurisdiction as sureties. Knowing fully that the suspect is based at Jos not Damaturu
Being unable to meet up with the bail conditions, the suspect through his counsel apply for a review of the bail conditions which the Chief Magistrate did by imposing more stringent conditions which include depositing a sum of N20 Million Naira in the alternative. In fact, the Chief Magistrate openly stated that his hands are tight as far as the case is concern.
Thereafter, the counsel to the suspect filed a Motion for the review of bail condition to the High Court of Yobe State. The present Chief Judge assigned the case to himself but refused to give a date for the past 3 months.
Based on our investigation, the wife of the late Chief Judge is highly connected to both the Attorney-General of Yobe State and the Chief Judge and they have been monitoring and frustrating the case over an allegation of simple offences.
From our findings, the facts of the case clearly show that Pastor James Israel and the late Chief Judge are just partners in business as there was no any properties given in trust for him to hold. There was no any misappropriation, cheating, theft and impersonation as alleged in the F.I.R.
According to Pastor James “We filed for bail three times but were turned down as a result of her influence as a lawyer and wife of the former Chief Judge”.
James who said he is looking emanciated as a result of his incaseration at the correctional center in Yobe pleaded with the authorities to guarantee his human right as he rightly put it as follows:
“I am deprived of my right as a human being, I have been prevented to be with my family. I have no access to my mother. I am sick and my business has shut down, things have turned upside down for me and they have forcefully kept me here and they have refused my bail. Somebody from my place seek for my bail twice from the CID, my lawyer has pleaded twice, but they refused him”.
James who described his present condition as follows: “if you had known me when I came in and now, you will cry with me Sir, I have leaned, I became sick more than five times because I have the history of hepatitis, I also had accident with my car along the process, from which I have broken limb and I am still suffering from it also”.
He said that the wife of the late CJ is claiming N27 million, a claim Pastor James said he didn’t have any agreement with her or her husband on that.
He said what he knows is only the equipments that are there in Jos, alleging that she is manipulating the process due to her position as a lawyer and wife of the former Chief Judge to dehumanized him for just no a cause.
He went further: “I have never known her and she has never known me before, I don’t have any agreement with her, I have never stood with her but she sent her daughter who is also a lawyer to write a report, her name is Hafsat. Like I told you earlier, the company is in Jos and the remains of the machines are still in Jos there. By keeping me here is nothing but just to be punishing my life. do they want me to die? The charges on me are bailable and yet they are not granting me bail.
He said that his organization has fabricated and installed so many mechanics in states like Calabar, Maiduguri and even Abuja.
We therefore, call on other human rights organizations and well meaning Nigerians to join in condemning this brazen violation of the rights of James who is was a business partner to the late CJ of Yobe state.
We view the bail conditions given to him as a calculated ploy to continue to keep him in the correctional facility to the satisfaction of the late family of the CJ for reasons best known to them.
PIDI urged the judge handling the case to toe the path of justice and equity of which he or she has sworn to uphold.