The Monrovia City Court on Friday, August 31, granted an interim bail to Ayodeji Bejide, a Nigerian national and managing director (MD) of Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) Liberia in the sum of US$50,000.
Bejide had been held in police custody since Tuesday, August 28, after he responded to police invitation on allegations that he had physically assaulted one of the bank’s employees, Edward Freeman. Mr. Freeman is believed to have been injured on the lips following the incident.
Before securing the US$50,000 bail, Bejide was released by another court, Criminal Court ‘B’, where his legal team had filed a Petition for the “Writ of Habeas Corpus” against the Liberia National Police (LNP) for deliberately refusing and neglecting to release or formerly charge him after the expiration of the 48 hours provided under the Constitution.
A drama ensued shortly after defendant Bejide’s lawyer, Abraham Sillah of the Heritage and Partners Law Firm, secured his release through the writ, when the Monrovia City Court arrested him (Bejide).
The court’s action was based on a request from authorities of the Ministry of Justice, which formally charged Bejide with aggravated assault.
Although Magistrate Kennedy Peabody did not say when the court would begin Bejide’s trial, it can be recalled that on Tuesday, August 28, a video shared on Facebook showed Mr. Freeman bleeding from his lips in Bejide’s office after Bejide reportedly threw a calculator at him, allegedly wounding him on the lips.
After reportedly wounding Mr. Freeman, Bejide was heard in the video telling the employee to calm down, threatening to dismiss him if he made any further comment.
Mr. Freeman then walked out of Bejide’s office at the end of the video, displaying his wounded lips to other employees, some of them explaining how Bejide on many occasions had treated them in a similar manner.