Nwude appeals against continuous detention
Nwude and two others were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the high court on offences bordering on conspiracy, forgery and dealing with forfeited property without authorization.
While the other two were granted bail, his has been rejected by the court.
In the appeal, filed by his counsel, Chief Emeka Okpoko (SAN), leading Victor Opara, Joan Monye, I. Fidel-Anyanna, J.O.Odini and P.K Abazie, the appellant contends that the trial judge, Mojisola Dada erred in law when she held that the appellant is serving a prison term.
“The trial court failed to see that the applicant/appellant is not serving any prison term at all.
The learned trial court did not appreciate that it is under judicial duty to concentrate on the fact and evidence presented before the court by the parties.
“The court failed to see the fact that there is no evidence at all from all the parties suggesting that the applicant is currently serving any prison term.
That the court failed to act on the evidence placed before it,” Okpoko stated in the first ground of the appeal.
The appellant also argued that the trial court erred in law when it suo motu raised the issue that the applicant is currently serving prison term without inviting counsel to address the court on the issue, insisting that it is trite that when a court raises any issue suo motu, the court is duty bound to call the parties to address it on the issues, particularly, the party that will suffer prejudice as a result of the issue raised suo motu.
Consequently, he is praying the appellate court to allow the appeal and set aside the ruling of the lower court, admit the appellant to bail pending the conclusion of the trial at the lower court on the most liberal terms and make an order, directing the chief judge of the state to transfer the matter to another judge.
The appellant had applied for bail for the third time, arguing that there were proof of changed circumstances and that the alleged offence is bailable.
In an accompanying affidavit deposed to by the appellant’s wife, Uju Nwude, she averred that the judgment upon which the charge against her husband was predicated was obtained by fraud, adding that the appellant has aggravated health challenge.
But the EFCC in its counter affidavit by Jonathan Pwol declared that all the applicants’ deposition were untrue and incorrect and urged the court to refuse the bail application.
Justice Dada in her ruling, denied the applicant bail and hinged her decision partly on the issue that he (the applicant) is currently serving a prison term, which according to the appellant, was not raised by either parties.