A surety, Joseph Ateh, 40, who allegedly aided the escape of a crime suspect for whom he stood  as surety, was on Monday docked before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.

Ateh, whose address was not provided, is facing a two-count charge bordering on attempt to pervert justice.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Raji Akeem, said that Ateh stood as a surety for one Martins Agaba on Nov. 22, 2018, at Gowon Estate Police Station, Egbeda, Lagos.

Akeem said that the surety failed to produce Agaba when needed by the police for an investigation.

He told the court that Agaba, a trader, absconded with 60 bags of rice worth N900,000, which belonged to his business partner.

The prosecutor said that the surety signed an undertaking to produce Agaba at the police station whenever needed, or forfeit N2 million to the Lagos State Government.

“Unfortunately, the surety and the suspect absconded after he secured bail.

“Ateh failed to present the suspect each time they were called upon,” he said.

The surety, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The alleged offences contravene Sections 97 and 123 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).

Section 97 provides seven years’ imprisonment for perversion of justice.

The Magistrate, Mrs Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi, granted Ateh N100,000 bail with two sureties in like sum.

Adeyemi-Ajayi ordered that the surety should be gainfully employed and show evidence of two years’ tax payment to Lagos State Government.

She adjourned the case until March 30 for mention. 

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