High Court 1 sitting in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, has granted N10Million bail to one Professor Peter Ogban who was jailed for commiting electoral offence during the 2019 general elections.
It could be recalled that on March, 2021, Ogban, a professor of Soil Science of the University of Calabar, Cross River State was given a three-year-imprisonment after the High court 2 found him guilty of electoral malpractice levelled against him by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
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 of Akwa Ibom in favour of Godswill Akpabio of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party; though the later lost the election to Chris Ekpenyong of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The Professor begged for leniency saying that he has many dependents especially his 90 year old mother and a sought after lecturer in both University of Calabar and that of Uyo respectively.
The then presiding Judge, Justice Augustine Odokwo ordered that he should be remanded and also pay a fine of N100,000 for two count charges.
However, the High court 1, sitting in Ikot Ekpene on Monday, July, 14, 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.
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.