Collapsed building: Court strikes out company’s CEO bid for bail variation

By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
An Ebute-Metta Chief Magistrate Court has struck out a motion filed by the Managing Director of Lekki Gardens, Mr. Richard Nyong seeking a variation of an earlier bail conditions ordered by the court.
The initial balled followed his arrest in connection with the collapse of a five-storey building under construction on Kushenla Road, Ikate Elegushi area of Lagos State which killed no fewer than 35 persons.
Lagos State Government had dragged Nyong and one of the contractors handling the project, Odofin Taiwo Henry to court, after which they were admitted to bail on some conditions including the deposit of their international passports.
Nyong had filed the motion for variation asking that his passport be released to him to facilitate a trip abroad for medical healthcare.
But at the resumption of the matter on Monday, Nyong’s lawyer, Mr. Bode Olanipekun applied to withdraw the motion, saying that the issue had been overtaken by events, and as such, it was no longer neccesary to forge ahead with it.
The application was not opposed by other parties, while the trial Magistrate, Mr. T.A Ellias struck it out.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Goddy Osuyi drew the court’s attention to the Legal Advice issued by the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) of Lagos State Ministry of Justice on the case.
Osuyi, a Legal Officer attached to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, said the case file was forwarded to the DPP by the police for Legal Advice, and that the DPP had since concluded work on the file.
He, however, urged the court to allow the Legal Advice to be read to Nyong and Odofin
But Olanipekun and Odofin’s lawyer, Mr. Gboyega Okenla opposed the application of Osuyi, saying that same was not supported by any practice or legal authority.
“Our clients are aware of the contents of the DPP Legal Advice and I am aware that the issue of involuntary manslaughter in the report is outside the purview of the jurisdiction of this court.
“So, I think it is better for us to wait for the next action to be taken by the Attorney General of the State whether he will or not file a criminal charge in the matter,” Olanipekun said.
After considering the arguments by the parties, Magistrate Ellias adjourned the matter to February 23, 2017 to await the decision of the Attorney General.

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