SHOCKING: Judge jails council chair for fraud, then grants him bail

In an unprecedented decision, a judge has granted bail to a former council chairman already serving a prison term for fraud

Justice I. E Ekwo of the Federal High Court Lokoja, Kogi State, Thursday gave  what appears an unprecedented ruling, granting bail to a former chairman of Adavi Local Government Council, Enesi Jimoh, whom he had earlier convicted and sentenced to six-month imprisonment without option of  fine for criminal misappropriation of public fund.

Mr. Jimoh, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was found guilty by Justice Ekwo on November 13, 2013 of converting N7 million belonging to the Council for personal use, according to a statement Thursday by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren.

He was arraigned by the EFCC alongside one Samuel Abiodun Ojo, a Commissioner for Agriculture, in March 31, 2010. Mr. Ojo was however discharged by the court after a no-case submission was filed by his counsel in June, 2012.

Mr. Uwujaren said upon his conviction, the former council boss, through his counsel, Olu Agunbiade, filed an appeal seeking a review of his conviction. Mr. Agunbiade wrote to the prison authorities in Koton-Karfe demanding the health status of the accused person. On the strength of that letter, the prison authorities took the convict to a specialist hospital where he was allegedly diagnosed of lung cancer . Mr. Agunbiade also presented to the court a letter from the prison authorities stating that the hospital does not have facilities to treat lung cancer. On the strength of these letters, the lawyer prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds

However, counsel to the EFCC, Wahab Shittu vehemently opposed the application on the grounds that it would be tantamount to throwing the prison gate open to convicted persons who would want to use health issues to escape serving jail terms.

Mr. Shittu also told the court that the presumption of innocence was no longer available to the convict having been convicted and sentenced.

While dismissing the application as incompetent, Mr. Shittu assured the court that the state would give adequate medical attention to the convict even if it means sending him abroad for treatment

However, in his ruling, Justice Ekwo granted the convict bail in the sum of N15million and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a responsible citizen and owner of landed property within the jurisdiction of the court which value shall not be below the bail sum. The original title deed shall be deposited at the court registry and the surety shall depose to an affidavit of means.

 


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  • Odeyemi Clara Bukola

    Very possible under the judicial system in Nigeria. One day, the real messiah shall come.

  • Adewale Adewole

    The most incredible out of Naija…

  • PureNigerian

    Why is it that every corrupt big guy in Nigeria get 6 months?

  • Tony Uwah

    The court can grant bail to a convict if there are exceptional circumstances like in this case, the law allows then exercise of this discretion , the position is clear and straightforward . Any sentiment is outside the ambits of the law. This judge should be commended for shooting straight.

    • waka-about

      I wonder which law school you went to or which law books you read. State a previous case, not involving a big man, where a court has granted a convict bail. Do you really understand the concept of bail?

  • Enemona

    “While dismissing the application as incompetent, Mr. Shittu assured the court that the state would give adequate medical attention to the convict even if it means sending him abroad for treatment”.

    How many ordinary citizens has the ‘state’ sent abroad for medical treatment? Now, a convict has to be sent abroad for treatment, if need be. Why abroad anyway? Let him enjoy the medical care we can afford here, it is a product of the corruption he and many other public officials have entrenched in the country. No mercy should be shown to these guys. Kogi state is one of the states with the highest child mortality rates in the country and thanks to thieving government officials like him. At times,I wish we are like China, people like him would have become extinct. The tears of hordes of mothers who lose their babies shall haunt you and your ilk.