The Ondo State High Court has refused to hear the bail application of Kemisola Ogunbiyi, an 18-year-old girl detained over #EndSARS who birthed a baby at the Surulere Prison in Akure.
On October 24, 2020, Kemisola was arrested and whisked to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Ondo, while going to get drugs for her sick mother. She was accused of having connections with #EndSARS protesters who burned the All Progressive Congress (APC) secretariat in the state and was charged with arson, among other offences.
She was only one month pregnant at the time of her arrest. In April, FIJ reported how pregnant Kemisola was languishing in jail after she was wrongfully detained over #EndSARS. Three months later, she gave birth to a baby in the prison under the harsh condition of the correctional centre.
The birth of her child in detention triggered public outrage, with many Nigerians demanding her swift and unconditional release from detention.
On Sunday, the Ondo State government said it was making moves to ensure the release of Kemisola. Charles Titiloye, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, said this in a statement confirming and expressing hope that she would be released on Monday.
However, the court has refused to hear the bail application of the 18-year-old mother, FIJ has learnt.
According to Tope Tomekun, Kemisola’s lawyer, the judge who was to preside over the case said he was not aware of any sitting on the matter.
“The court couldn’t hear our bail application in the #Freekemi Kemisola Ogunniyi today as expected,” Tomekun said.
“We have been enjoined to return to the State High Court within the premises of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Olokuta prison in Akure on Tuesday.
“The case was only brought to the knowledge of sitting judge today despite our pressure. Sadly, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Sir Titiloye failed to act fast on the matter.”
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