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APPEAL COURT REJECTS BODE GEORGE'S BAIL REQUEST

By NBF News
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The attempt by the former deputy national chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George and five other convicted former members of the board of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to secure a post-conviction bail at the Court of Appeal suffered another setback on Friday.

A statement by Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Femi Babafemi, said the bail application was rejected by the appellate court on grounds that it would set a bad precedent.

The appellants had in separate applications, brought pursuant to Order 7, Rule 1 and Order 16 Rule 13 of the Court of Appeal as well as Section 28 (1) (2) and 3 of the Court of Appeal Act, 2004, asked the court to grant them bail pending the determination of their appeal.

'But in a unanimous ruling, the appellate court justices, namely Justice Clara Bata-Ogunbiyi, (Presiding), Justice Hussein Mukhtar and Justice Gana Mshelia held that to grant their request for bail would be to set a bad precedent and amount to throwing the prison gates open.'

According to the statement, in her lead judgment, Justice Ogunbiyi held that assumptions of innocence no longer apply to the appellants, adding that none of the convicts has been refused medical treatment outside the prison.

It added that the court held that it cannot guarantee that the appellants seeking leave to travel abroad for medical treatment would come back to the country if they are allowed to do so.

The statement clarified that the court however assured of speedy hearing of their appeal, adding that the court admonished George and others to stop seeking bail having been convicted by a competent court.