UNICAL professor jailed for electoral fraud gets N10m bail

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A professor of Soil Science at University of Calabar, Cross River State, Peter Ogban, jailed over electoral fraud, has been granted bail in the sum of N10 million pending his appeal.

Recall that High Court 2 sitting in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State had in March, 2021 sentenced Professor Ogban to three years imprisonment after finding him guilty of electoral fraud in the 2019 elections.

Ogban was the Collation/Returning Officer during the National Assembly elections and was found guilty of manipulating and falsifying the scores of election results in Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo local government areas in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He pleaded for leniency but the presiding judge, Justice Augustine Odokwo, ordered that he should also pay a fine of N100,000 for two counts.

However the High Court 1, sitting in Ikot Ekpene on Monday, July 12, 2021, granted him N10 Million bail pending his appeal.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Pius Idiong, said the bail conditions would include a surety in like sum who must reside and have properties within the jurisdiction of the court.

Others include the presentation of Certificate of Occupancy signed by the State Governor and two passport photographs each of the applicant and surety to the Registrar of the Court.

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Justice Idiong held that though the applicant did not prove exceptional circumstance or unusual reason to be granted bail, the applicant may have to serve the terms of sentence before the determination of the appeal.

Counsel to INEC, Kpoobari Sigalo said the conditions for bail must be perfected before the applicant can be released on bail.

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