October 17, 2021

TrustTV

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Professor jailed for electoral fraud seeks bail pending appeal

Professor Peter Ogban, who was jailed for electoral fraud levelled against him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has appealed for bail.

Ogban was sentenced to 36 months of correctional service and told to pay a fine of N100,000 for counts 2 and 1 respectively after he pleaded for leniency.

However, he returned to the court on Thursday seeking for bail on the grounds of ill health, citing tuberculosis and hypertension as two of his health challenges.

In his appeal, Counsel to Ogban, Kanu Agabi mentioned the basis for which his client should be granted bail to include the absence of criminal record, a university don of repute, and ill health amongst others.

Agabi, who said his client was not in court to challenge the judgement as it was valid, noted that the appeal raised substantial issues of fact worthy of the attention of the judge and the Court of Appeal.

He urged the court to grant his request and assured that his client would return to prison if the Court of Appeal failed to grant their request.

But Counsel to INEC, Clement Onwenwunor, opposed the bail application and filed a counter-affidavit of 21 paragraphs.

Onwenwunor said the applicant had lost his constitutional right to bail because he had been convicted, adding that the constitutional right to bail no longer belongs to him.

After the submission of both Counsels to INEC and the defendant, Presiding Judge of Akwa Ibom State High Court 1 sitting in Ikot Ekpene, Justice Pius Idiong, adjourned the case for ruling to July 12, 2021.