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Court grants Ogban bail with N10 million

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Prof. Ogban

Akwa Ibom State High Court, sitting in Ikot Ekpene, has granted Prof. Peter Ogban of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) bail in the sum of N10 million with a surety in like sum.

Justice Pius Idiong gave the ruling yesterday, following a bail application Ogban filed on June 17, 2021, on health grounds by his lawyers led by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) pending determination of the case at the Court of Appeal.

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Justice Idiong gave other conditions for Ogban’s bail to include that the surety must reside and have property within the court’s jurisdiction.

He also ruled that both the applicant and surety should present a Certificate of Occupancy signed by the state governor and two passport photographs each to the Court Registrar.

He equally held that although the applicant did not prove exceptional circumstance or unusual reasons to be granted bail, he (applicant) might have served the terms of the sentence before the determination of the appeal.

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Speaking with newsmen at the court premises, counsel to the respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kpoobari Sigalo, explained that the conditions for bail should be perfected before the applicant could be released on bail.

On his part, counsel to the applicant, Basil Udeh, declined comment on the ruling.

Ogban, who is a professor of Soil Science at UNICAL is serving three years sentence following his conviction in March 2021 by the State High Court, Ikot Ekpene over election fraud in Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo councils of Akwa Ibom State during the 2019 National Assembly election.

The Guardian recalled that Ogban, who served as the collation and returning officer in the election, had pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge INEC levelled against him.

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