Justice Aliya Nganjiwa of a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, yesterday, granted the request of the prosecution to take the evidence of Miss Ese Oruru in private at the resumed pre-trial hearing in the trial of Dahiru Yunusa, aka “Yellow”, who is facing a five-count charge of criminal abduction, sexual exploitation an havingd unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor, Miss Ese Rita Oruru.
Granting the application, Justice Nganjiwa, who premised his decision on the provisions of Section 36 subsections 4 (a) and (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, said: “The evidence of Miss Ese Oruru would be taken by the court in private and in chambers excluding all persons other than the prosecution, the accused’s counsel, court clerks and prison officials and any other persons if the accused person does not object.
“The defence counsel failed to show what injury or harm the accused person would suffer on account of private hearing for the victim, Miss Ese Oruru,” adding that it was only the evidence of Miss Ese Oruru that would be taken in private as other trial would be done in open court.
Justice Nganjiwa, who adjourned the matter to June 2 for hearing in the substantive suit, said: “Let me correct the impression that private hearing would jeopardize the hearing of the substantive suit as other trials would be conducted in public.”
Reacting, defence counsel, Kayode Olaosebekan, said they had learned a lot from the ruling of the court, describing the decision of the court “as nothing unusual but a superior opinion by the court.”
On Yunusa’s bail conditions, Olaosebekan disclosed that they had filed a motion in court to review the bail conditions as they were having challenges securing bail for the accused person.
Meanwhile, Urhobo Progress Union, UPU and Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, have intimated the court of their readiness to provide legal services for Miss Oruru and her parents.
UPU’s counsel is led by Albert Akpomudje, SAN, while FIDA legal team is headed by Mrs. Dise Ogbise. Akpomudje, who is also the National Secretary of UPU, said they had applied to the state Commissioner of Police to be joined in the matter and were awaiting his response.