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Nigerian Court Grants Bail to Detained US Aid Worker


A Nigerian court on Tuesday granted bail to U.S. aid worker Judith Asuni, who is facing charges related to security breaches. For VOA, Gilbert da Costa in Abuja reports conditions were attached to her release.

Under the terms of a conditional bail, Judith Asuni, the American aid worker and her Nigerian co-worker Danjuma Saidu are to deposit their travel documents with the court and provide bank guarantees.

The two are barred from traveling to the restive Niger Delta and are required to provide official proof of tax payments and a pledge from their families that they will be appear in court when needed. They are also to report every two weeks to the secret police.

Asuni and Saidu were arrested last month and accused of assisting two German film makers gain access to oil installations. The Germans were making a documentary on the unrest in the oil rich Delta, which the government considers a high security zone.

The Germans were granted bail on October 5. Asuni, a longtime resident of Nigeria who is married to a Nigerian, was denied bail during three previous court appearances. She claims her arrest was politically motivated.

Her trial has been set for November 29.

Bolanle Asuni, daughter of the American aid worker, says the trial will provide an opportunity for her mother to expose those behind her ordeal.

"We are confident that, as they say, when the truth sets you free, you shall be free indeed. And in Nigerian parlance, they say there is no smoke without fire. At least we now know we are getting to the real fire and the truth of what is going on and who is truly orchestrating this will be known to the public," said Bolanle Asuni.

Judith Asuni runs a non-governmental organization called Academic Associates Peace Work which has mediated between militant groups and the government and encourages disarmament.

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