By NWOKOKE MICHAEL
The Tinubu magistrate court sitting in Lagos on Thursday ordered that,the 15 Russians who were arrested by Nigerian Navy on Oct. 2012 over an alleged illegal importation of firearms and ammunition in the country be further remanded in prison custody till Feb 19, when their bail application would be heard.
The presiding magistrate said the extension is to enable the accused to be formally charged before the Lagos High Court by the Attorney General of the Federation.
The 15 accused are Zhelyazkov Andrey, 53, Savchenko Sergrey, 36, Chichikanov Vasily, 49, Varlygin Igor, 48, Komilov Alexandr, 32, Lopatin Alexey, 38, Baranovskly Nikolay, 50, Mishin Pavel, 31, LLia Shubov, 33, and Dmitry Bannyrn, 40.
Others were Alexander Tsarikov, 44, kononov sergel, 44, Korotchenko Andrey, 23, Vorobev Mikhail, 40 and Stepan Oleksuik, 52.
The hearing of the bail application which was previously fixed on Thursday Feb.14 could not hold as the prosecutor, Mr Effiong Asuquo (a superintendent of police from the Special Fraud Unit) urged the court to stand down the matter, that the Attorney-General of the Federation had declared his intention to take over the matter.
However the Attorney -General could not show up in the court till about 11am when the matter was called again,during which the prosecutor made a verbal application asking the court to further remand the accused and adjourn the matter till Tuesday 19 February.
He held that the accused have filed a bail application before the Lagos High Court and that the matter has already been fixed on Tuesday Feb.19, for hearing.
Reacting to this, the counsel firm to the Russians, Mr Segun Sipeolu and Edidiong E.Idiong prayed the court to release the accused on liberal terms,pending when the Attorney General and the police would be ready to file charges adding that the accused have been in government custody for the past four months.
Consequently, the presiding magistrate Oyindamole Ogalla(Mrs) ordered that the 15 accused persons be remanded in prison custody till February 19, saying that the date is the most appropriate since the accused have filed an application for bail before the Lagos high court while the prosecutor has equally asked the court for adjournment of the the matter till the same date.