The Akwa Ibom High Court in Abak on Wednesday granted bail to Odudu Ukpanah, the son of a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Albert Ukpanah, murdered last year at his home.
The court, presided by Justice Ezekiel Enang, granted the young Ukpanah his application on health grounds, having remained in prison in Ikot Ekpene for 323 days, accused of being the mastermind of his father’s gruesome murder.
Odudu, who celebrated in 31st birthday in detention, was arrested on May 27, 2014 by state security operatives.
After reviewing his application, Mr. Enang granted Odudu bail on condition that he would provide a N500, 000 bond and a guarantor in the person of a respected traditional ruler not below the status of village head, who owns a landed property located in Abak urban of the state.
The court also asked Odudu to deposit with the Registrar of the court his international passport and other travel documents till further notice.
Odudu was the only person at home with the father when the former PDP was killed. He was arrested few days after the father’s burial on the orders of the State governor, Godswill Akpabio.
During Mr. Ukpanah’s burial on May 24, 2014, the governor had assured the family of his personal determination to ensure that security agencies fished out the murderers of the politician.
The late Ukpanah had openly opposed the governor’s senatorial ambition.
Despite a police investigation report clearing Odudu of killing his father as findings suggested “politically-motivated” death, he was still held and later arraigned in court by the police, ostensibly on the orders of the governor.
Concerned about his deteriorating health condition in prison, the family, last December, urged the governor to order Odudu’s immediate release, to no avail.