Tuesday, 3 December 2013
An Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted bail to Chukwujekwu Okeke, a principal officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who was detained over alleged misconduct during November 16 governorship election in Anambra State.
He was the Electoral Officer for Idemili North Local Government during the election. Okeke was arraigned on November 25 by the police on a one count charge of dereliction of duty contrary to Section 123 (1) (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act, 2010.
When the matter came up yesterday, the accused person brought a bail application which was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Stanley Nwodo.
But Chief Magistrate Usman Shuaibu admitted Okeke to bail for N3 million with one surety in like sum. The court held that the surety must be a Level 15 civil servant, resident in Abuja.
The court also ordered accused person to report, on every work day, between 10 am and 2pm, at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja, where his case is being investigated. He is to report at the FCID until the police complete their investigation.
The court later adjourned till January 8, 2014.
Earlier, the prosecution, had applied for leave to further detain the accused person, on ground that the police were yet to conclude investigation in the case.
Nwodo submitted that the seven days earlier granted the police was insufficient because the investigation was disrupted by the supplementary election held on November 30. Defence counsel, Daniel Nwogbodo, however, opposed the leave.
In his ruling, Magistrate Shuaibu upheld the objection by the defence counsel and refused the application for leave to further detain the accused person.
He held that the prosecution failed to provide cogent reason for its request for permission to further detain the accused person.
He held that the offence was bailable.