Charles Okah files for bail

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Charles Okah, brother to the convicted mastermind of the October 2010 Independence Day bombing, Henry Okah, has once again filed for bail before an Abuja Federal High Court, sitting before Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

At the resumption of trial, counsel to Okah, who is standing trial alongside Obi Nwabueze, in connection with the independence day bombing, informed the court about its application brought pursuant to Section 158 and 161 (2a,b,c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The application seeking for an order of the court admitting the defendant to bail pending the determination of the case instituted against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria on the grounds of ill health, having spent five years on trial.

Supported by a five paragraphed affidavit and six exhibits, which include what it termed a proof of the deteriorating health condition of Okah, which he says falls within the exceptional circumstances under which the court can consider the bail of an accused person by exercising its discretion.

Okah had argued, through his counsel, that Section 161 (1 and 2) of the ACJA provided that, “once the facts and documents before the court can convince it, the issue as to the nature of the offence does not arise.”

But in its opposition, counsel to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alex Iziyon, informed the court that the issue of bail for Okah was premised on enforcing an order of the court, which provided for medical examination of Okah, having suffering pile.

He told the court that the issue of N350,000 outstanding medical bill meant for surgical operation on the defendant was being sorted out by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, insisting that “even if Section 161 (2) of the ACJA provides the exceptional ground, that has not been satisfied by the document before the court as the court cannot say, because of the sum of N350,000, he should be allowed to go home.”

Referring to the judgment by Justice Mustapha of the Court of Appeal in the matter of Okoyomon vs AGF, he said the court averred that in instances as this, the court couldn’t just grant bail, but instead call them to order to be alive to their responsibilities.

He urged the court to discountenance the application since the defendant had not shown substantial evidence, in form of material facts to substantiate their claim, insisting that the defendant was only suffering from pile, which he argued was not life threatening, promising that the state was going to take up the bill for the surgery.

The trial judge, having heard the arguments from both parties in the matter, reserved ruling on the application to February 2, 2016.

In continuation of the trial, Anthony Makwe, a legal practitioner in the services of Zenith Bank appeared before the court as a witness, in which he tendered statement of accounts of Tombra Life Support Company Limited from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010, a copy of a cheque of N2 million issued in favour of Obi Nwabueze, copies of account opening documentation in respect of the account of Tombra Life Support Company Limited, including the mandate card, copy of the letter written by Zenith Bank to EFCC.

DCSL 90X780

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