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PH Court Grants Ex-Anambra Guber Aspirant N100m Bail After One Month In Prison

The embattled ex-Anambra State guber aspirant, Hon Walter Ubaka Okeke, detained for over one month in Port Harcourt over alleged theft of oil drilling equipment worth over N800m secured what looked like difficult bail Monday, December 19, 2022.
The Chief Magistrate, A.O. Amadi Nna, granted him bail of N100m with two sureties of same amount.
Okeke hails from Enugwu village of Nanka in Orumba North local council area, but lives in his own compound at the Trans-Amadi area of the Garden City where the complainant, Sir Ifeanyi Amaonye, allegedly stocked the oil drilling pipes and other heavy industrial equipments.
Other conditions include that the surety must be up to Grade level 14 in the Rivers State Civil service who must have landed property within the Court’s jurisdiction.
The property documents must be verified by the prosecution.
When the matter was called up on Monday, the Chief Magistrate ruled on the application for bail and the objection raised by the prosecution led by Godday Amadi, and granted the accused bail with a surety with the like sum of N100 million.
Also, an affidavit of means from a Grade Level 14 officer of the Rivers State Ministry must be deposited (original copy) with original copy of his appointment letter with the court.
Each of the parties must deposit two of their passports and an affidavit of means which must be present and available.
Speaking with newsmen after the case, counsel to the defendant, Oluchukwu Ulasi, expressed gratitude for the bail granted and said they would go about perfecting it.
He however observed that the bench warrant against his client had been vacated since December 13, 2022.
He said: “What happened today was that, you recall that on December 13, 2022, the defendant took plea and, thereafter, we applied for his bail and the court adjourned the proceedings of the ruling on respect of our bail application to today.
“So this morning, the court delivered that ruling, granting the defendant bail and with conditions that you must have heard from the court so by the grace of God, we are grateful to the court for granting him bail because he’s been in the custody since November 15, 2022. So, all things being equal, we’ll try and see how we can meet those conditions.
“The issue of his bench warrant was all over the place. You will recall that court on the October 31, 2022, issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the defendant. That bench warrant order was vacated at the proceedings of December, 13, 2022, in other words, there’s no pending order for the arrest of the defendant.’
He went on: “In fact, when a bench warrant is issued as we have argued before the court, if a bench warrant is granted against a defendant, the moment that bench warrant is executed and the party is brought before the court, the bench warrant seizes to operate in other words. It is prompt. So, on December, 13, 2022, the court vacated his bench warrant. So, we’ll take it up from there and we’re ready for trial.”
He said: “I hope the prosecution will present their witnesses. I can tell you that the defence is ready for trial”.
Plea for bail raged on December 13, 2022 before Amadi-Nna.
Counsel to the defendant on that day, H A Bello, applied for bail, mentioning hope for an amicable resolution.
He said the charge was a sensitive one, but prayed the court to grant bail to the Guber aspirant who he said would honour the bail conditions.
Police prosecuting counsel, Godday Amadi, argued wondering how the defendant would expect to be granted bail when he wasn’t availing himself for proceedings over the case until a bench warrant was issued on him and he was eventually apprehended.
He further urged the court to consider the implications associated with granting bail to someone who had never availed himself until he was forced to do so. He noted that the defendant was pleading because that it seemed to be the only option he has now.
The court adjourned the case to Monday, December 19, 2022 for consideration of bail.
The case had erupted when the businessman, the police in Port Harcourt dragged Okeke to the Chief magistrate’s Court for alleged theft.
The charge sheet filed on May 27, 2022, stated that; “You, Walter Ubaka Okeke, and others now at large, did conspire to commit felony to wit: stealing; and therefore committed an offence punishable under Section 516A of the Criminal Code Law Cap 37 Vol 2, Laws of Rivers State”.
The second count mentioned the value of the alleged stolen property to be over N800m, items said to be property of a Port Harcourt business man, Mr Ifeanyi Amaonye, kept in the open at the accused’s compound in Trans-Amadi.

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