Benin Solidarity Movement(BSM) worldwide, a socio-cultural pressure group that acts as the mouthpiece of people of Benin ethnic nationality, have raised objection to the bail granted to Johnson Atseleghe, a suspected serial killer and kidnapper.
In a statement signed by Elder Comrade Curtis Eghosa Ugbo (President) and Pastor Osayuki Uhimwen(acting Secretary), the group said: “We have a cause to address you, the gentlemen of the press, today on account of the issue of bail that Criminal Court 1, Benin, granted serial murder and kidnap suspect, Johnson Atseleghe, who clothes himself with the garb of Iyatsere of Warri.
“Yes, it is not in contention that granting of bail to any suspect is at the discretion of courts. Our concern is that it has been observed that in recent time Criminal Court 1, Benin City, has been known for granting such questionable bail to criminal elements on spurious grounds.
“One of the criminals that benefitted from this ‘bonanza bail’ from Criminal Court 1, Benin City, jumped bail and was involved in another murder case for which he was re-arrested.
“It is becoming obvious that serial murder and kidnap suspect, Johnson Atseleghe, having learnt of the reputation of Criminal Court 1, Benin City, to grant ‘bonanza bail’ has worked towards ensuring that he too becomes a beneficiary.
“A situation whereby a serial criminal suspect resort to shopping to get a court where he is certain he will get a ‘bonanza bail’ easily is inimical to the image of the judiciary and should never be encouraged.
“Also, we want to bring to public notice that Barrister Mathew Edaghese, our counsel, has for no justifiable reason received a threat message from Barrister Enohense Osaruwense Ogbomo, who is the suspect’s counsel.”
Going forward, the BSM said: “These are the issues that will form the basis of our petition to the National Judicial Council(NJC) in due course.”