After spending 93 days in incarceration, Kaduna journalist, Luka Binniyat’s unrealistic bail conditions have been relaxed by Justice Bashir Sukola of Kaduna High Court 10 on Monday.
Prior to relaxing the conditions, Sukola had earlier taken a 15 minute break where he advised both prosecution counsel, led by Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN) and defence, Barrister James Kanyip to go and privately debate the bail condition and report decision to the court.
It was then decided that bail be granted the accused with two sureties upon presentation of bank statement of not less than ten million Naira credit each.
In addition, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna State Council, is also expected to stand as a surety for the accused, a condition that was fair, compared to the initial bail bond of two sureties within the jurisdiction of the court, each with bank account with not less than N10m each as well as the originals of their international passports attached.
The court which swelled with dominantly supporters of Binniyat and few others who were against him, was tensed all through the proceedings.
Notable among those who thronged the hallowed court room, were the President of NUJ, Comrade Waheed Odusile, NUJ National Secretary, Shafalafiya, Vice Ptesident North West, Comrade Yusuf Idris, Kaduna NUJ Council Chairman, Comrade Adamu Yusuf, the council’s Secretary, Dauda Doka, human rights activist, Dr. John Danfulani and former Kaduna State Attorney General, Barrister Mark Jacob.
In an interview with newsmen outside the courtroom, wife of the accused, Mrs. Gladys Luka Binniyat thanked God that her husband was finally going to breathe the air of freedom.
She described his absence for over three months as a big set back for the family, especially the younger children.
“The children really missed their father, especially the last two, but the younger ones understand what is happening, especially based on what they have been reading on the social media,” she said.
Mrs Binniyat said that as a house wife who is not working, his absence brought a whole new chapter to their lives, but appreciated his friends, family and colleagues for supporting the family all through.
“It would have been worse for me, but I felt better everyday when I take food to him,” she added.
Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the court proceedings, a group of suspected to have been sponsored thugs, wearing branded t-shirts mobilised to the venue, bore placards with various inscriptions.
Leader of the group, who simply identified himself as Abdullahi said that they were on ground to show that they were against publications of fake news.