- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Thursday, 17 December 2009 16:58
- Written by Admin
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APPEAL COURT DISMISSES BODE GEORGE, OTHERS’ BAIL APPLICATION
The court of appeal, Lagos division, on Thursday December 17, in a unanimous ruling dismissed the bail application brought by Chief Olabode George and five others convicted by Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of Lagos High Court on October 26, 2009 over contract splitting, abuse of office and disobedience of lawful order.
The three judges that formed the panel namely Justice Manika Dongba Menson, Justice Paul Adamu Galuge and Justice Hussein Muktar jointly dismissed all the three grounds the convicts’ lawyers gave to support their application for bail.
In the lead ruling delivered by Justice Menson, the Judge said that section 28 of the Court of Appeal act gave the court the power to grant bail. She however reviewed the three grounds raised in the consolidated motion for bail and dismissed them as lacking merit.
On the first ground that borders on congestion of cases at the Appeal Court and the likelihood of delay, the Judge punctured this on the basis that what used to cause delay was the compilation of court proceedings, but that with the computerization of the records, it is now very fast and that the case would be given accelerated hearing,. She therefore dismissed the ground as not being a good reason for admitting the convicts to bail.
On the second ground given by the applicants and supported by medical reports saying that all the six convicts were ill, the Judge dismissed it stressing that there was no evidence before the court that their ailments could cause health hazard in the prison or that there was no quarantine facilities in the prison. As such, she said there was no exceptional case to grant the bail.
The third reason raised by the convicts’ lawyers for the reliefs sought which was the same as canvassed in the the substantive suit, was equally dismissed by Justice Menson who said the reason was not enough for the convicts to be admitted to bail since the applicants’ counsel would still raise the same issue during the hearing of the substantive suit.
Although one of the Judges was absent, his ruling which concurred with the lead judgement was ready by the second judge.
Supporters of the applicants who came to the court gorgeously dressed left the court one after the other disappointed after the ruling was given.
The former Chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority [ NPA] and five former members of the NPA board were found guilty in some of the charges leveled against them by the EFCC over their activities while at the helm of affairs of the ports authority. The trial Judge, Justice Oyewole consequently sentenced them to two and a half years imprisonment without an option of fine.
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