Arrested social critic and APC chieftain regains freedom in Calabar
A social critic and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ifere Paul, has regained freedom.The Magistrate’s Court 1 in Calabar, presided over by Chief Magistrate E. E. Edogi, granted bail to Paul after he was last week arrested in Abuja where he resides and driven to the Cross River State capital.
He was yesterday charged to court by the state police command after spending four nights in detention.However, the Commissioner of Police had told the media on Friday last week that Paul was in their custody “as a suspect on kidnapping and cultism.”
A four-count charge bordering on misdemeanor was read in court to the accused. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges as his counsel, Mr. Utum Eteng, leading five others, immediately moved a motion for his bail. The lawyers argued that the charges were not only ridiculous before the law but also clearly bailable.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. Ofem Mbang, leading three others, said he had no reason under the law to oppose the bail application.In granting the bail, the magistrate asked the defence counsel to present a surety for the bail and the state Chairman of the APC, Chief John Ochalla, was readily presented and he agreed to stand surety on the bail conditions given, which include a deposit of N1 million, a surety to be taken by a known chief executive of a company or an organisation and the person should be resident in Calabar with a landed property.The matter was adjourned to November 21, 2017 for further hearing.
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